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Northeast to be blasted with ice and snow in 2020, with ‘full force’ of winter to come in January

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Winter will unleash its wrath by the end of 2019, say forecasters, who predict chilling temperatures will come to the northeast in December, followed by above-average snowfall at the start of the new year.

That means major snow can be expected from New York to Boston by January, say meteorologists at AccuWeather

The southeast, however, is more likely to experience more rain than wintry weather. 

A few cold spells in the Northeast are expected throughout the fall, then chilling temperatures in December, and major snow beginning in 2020, reports AccuWeather. New York (pictured above during a 2018 storm) could get above-average snowfall

A few cold spells in the Northeast are expected throughout the fall, then chilling temperatures in December, and major snow beginning in 2020, reports AccuWeather. New York (pictured above during a 2018 storm) could get above-average snowfall

Above average snowfall is expected from New York to Boston (pictured above in a 2018 snow storm) reports AccuWeather

Above average snowfall is expected from New York to Boston (pictured above in a 2018 snow storm) reports AccuWeather

Above average snowfall from New York to Boston (pictured above during a March snowstorm) wouldn't hit until the start of the New Year, say the forecasters at AccuWeather

Above average snowfall from New York to Boston (pictured above during a March snowstorm) wouldn’t hit until the start of the New Year, say the forecasters at AccuWeather

Snowfall predicted for the West Coast will at least be welcome news for California, where it could help stave off drought conditions by spring.

The predictions came as part of AccuWeather’s annual winter forecast, released Friday. 

A few cold spells in the Northeast are expected throughout the fall, with more chilling temperatures arriving by December, and then major snow at the start of 2020, reports AccuWeather.

‘I think you’re going to see a touch of winter come in December. But I think its full force will hold out until after the new year,’ says AccuWeather expert long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok. 

An active winter season is expected once wintry weather gets underway, including above-average snowfall from New York to Boston.

‘Whether or not it’s snowstorms, ice storms or mixed events, I do feel this is going to be an active year for the Northeast,’ he said.

The potentially brutal winter in the Northeast came came as part of AccuWeather's annual winter forecast, released Friday. Highlights of weather predictions across the nation are pictured above

The potentially brutal winter in the Northeast came came as part of AccuWeather’s annual winter forecast, released Friday. Highlights of weather predictions across the nation are pictured above

Winter isn't expected to be as brutal further south, including in Washington, DC (pictured above after a November 2018 snowfall), and Baltimore, as the Southeast gets hit with more of a mix of rain and snow.

Winter isn’t expected to be as brutal further south, including in Washington, DC (pictured above after a November 2018 snowfall), and Baltimore, as the Southeast gets hit with more of a mix of rain and snow.

Winter isn’t expected to be as brutal further south, including in Washington, DC, and Baltimore, as the Southeast gets hit with more of a mix of rain and snow.

That’s because water temperatures from the Gulf of Mexico to the Southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts are running higher than normal, Pastelok said.

Storms moving east early in the season  could bring warm water into the region, resulting in significant rain. A winter storm, similar to one that hit the area last season, is still possible, creating the possibility of snow or ice in Winston-Salem, Charlotte or Asheville.

A repeat of the cold snap unleashed by the polar vortex across the US in January isn’t expected, but Pastelok warned that it was difficult predicting how the upper-level, low pressure area lying near the North Pole will behave so many months out, and that it could still impact this coming winter. 

Near- to below-normal snowfall is expected across the northern Plains, with near- to above-normal totals in the central Plains. The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes should brace for cold air that may result in 'lake-effect snow events,' reports AccuWeather (file image)

Near- to below-normal snowfall is expected across the northern Plains, with near- to above-normal totals in the central Plains. The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes should brace for cold air that may result in ‘lake-effect snow events,’ reports AccuWeather (file image)

Instead, cold air from a Siberian Connection could reach the Midwest early in the season, which may determine how cold temperatures will get. 

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However, conditions could change and the polar vortex, along with Arctic air could have an impact later in the winter, he said. 

Northern and central Plain states can expect milder-than-normal weather in December, and then blasts of Arctic air at points during the season. Forecasters say it’s too early to say where exactly it will be the coldest.

Near- to below-normal snowfall is expected across the northern Plains, with near- to above-normal totals in the central Plains. The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes should brace for cold air that may result in ‘lake-effect snow events,’ reports AccuWeather. 

The southern Plains can expect ‘back-and-forth,’ weather patterns for much of the winter. ‘When we say ‘back and forth,’ we’re talking about extremes,’ says Patelok.

‘In January, you may get a couple of chilly air masses, but it’s offset by December and February when the temperatures actually end up being above normal,’ he said.

The region early into the season may get snow and ice before milder air returns.

‘The cold air will be lacking from time to time,’ Pastelok said. ‘The best chance of getting any significant chill is probably in January for Dallas and Oklahoma City.’

The Southwest and California also may experience extremes changes. 

‘At times, these areas could also have back-and-forth conditions, between some periods of dry weather and some active weather in the early winter, which is not really typical,’ Patelok said.

There will still be enough snowfall in California (pictured above after a February snow storm) to help stave off drought conditions into the spring. The expected snowfall also means decent ski conditions for many of the resorts across the state

There will still be enough snowfall in California (pictured above after a February snow storm) to help stave off drought conditions into the spring. The expected snowfall also means decent ski conditions for many of the resorts across the state

There will still be enough snowfall in California to help stave off drought conditions into the spring. 

‘I think they will get ample snowfall, just enough that will fill those reservoirs up in the spring and early summer. It’s the late summer, of course, that becomes more critical,’ Pastelok said.

The expected snowfall also means decent ski conditions for many of the resorts across the state.

That may not be so much the case for the Northwest, where wintry weather isn’t expected to come in its usual form.

Drier conditions and above-normal temperatures may result from strong high pressure over the region.

‘I can see some places this winter in the Northwest being about 20 to 40 percent lower on the snowfall compared to average,’ says Pastelok. ‘For those who rely on hydropower: If water levels are down, it could have an effect on cost.’

 

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