Are you ready for a nasty winter in the Eastern U.S.? The statistics and climate index similarities suggest the 2013-2014 winter will be similar to 1962-1963 which brought the 6th coldest January in over 118 years and copious snowfall. The factors considered were a proprietary statistical forecasting technique, Atlantic Accumulated Cyclone Energy index, ENSO neutral phase, 30-year cold-intensifying Pacific Decadal Oscillation Cycle and a weak 100 year solar cycle which all indicate a winter similar to 1962-1963. Based on the leading indications, we’ve outlined our TOP 10 facts and predictions for the upcoming winter:
- Nor’easters will be more frequent bringing the snowiest winter in 3 years with 35% more snow than last year and much above average. (see snowfall trends map).
- Temperatures across the Eastern U.S. will trend 3-6 degrees colder than last winter making it the coldest winter in 3 years with below average temperatures. (see winter temperature map).
- Major widespread cold snaps are likely in middle December, middle January and early February.
- The West will trend the warmest in 4 to 8 years but snow and rain still likely to make headlines in the Pacific Northwest with twice as much snow as last year.
- Parts of California are likely to have the wettest conditions in 9 years bringing the threat for at least one major flooding/mud slide event this winter.
- Southwest may escape winter’s wrath with the warmest conditions in 8 years and 31% below average snowfall.
- A drought may begin to develop in the Southeast by late winter.
- Major freeze possible in Florida late January and early February.
- Winter seasonal merchandise sales will experience the best winter in 3 years with sales up 20% to 100% in the Eastern U.S. with snow accessories up 250% or more. However, overall retail sales and store traffic will be severely hampered.
- Home heating bills will be up 15% to 30% in the East but down as much in the West further eating into consumers’ discretionary spending going into 2014.