2018-2019 Winter Outlook


Winter Outlook Presented by Pro Turf Landscaping

Ahh, it's that time of year again. Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of our amazing sponsors ( Pro Turf Landscaping - Reggie Eld Realtor - Rick Jean Plumbing - All Sports Promotions - EDGE Fitness - Anthony Wojtas Electrical - Lowell Spinners ) My work ( AG Hardware for allowing me to run MCW when needed and help out ordering stock ) and people like you who donate to help offset costs through the year. Thank you all! - SK



Growing up, ( Currently 24 ) I'd love watching my favorite weather friends on TV such as Pete Bouchard.." Blizzard Warnings are up for Eastern MA where over a foot of snow is possible ". I'd hear Pete say on TV while i was logging onto the computer to see the latest computer models. Id stay up overnight waiting for new data to come in and id be ready for the first snowflakes to come down..." Lowell Public CLOSED " would scroll across the TV. While other kids took the time to go play video games, I'd take the time to go outside in the storm to see how my forecast verified. Sending reports into local stations, National Weather Service - Boston and even The Weather Channel. Winter was always my favorite season to track. Now, over 8 years later, I'm still doing the same thing! I've learned a lot more about forecasting the weather. One thing i have learned is that we live in the Merrimack Valley.


So what makes MCW different than other pages / weather sources? Well, for one we are located in the Merrimack Valley. MCW is based out of Lowell, MA. As always in the Winter we deal with a " Rain / snow line " which sometimes rides the I-495 belt. This ALWAYS becomes a challenge in the Winter. Going 15 miles or so can make a HUGE difference when we are talking snow. Another factor is that we are located just over 20 miles from the coast. A sea breeze sometimes affects the precip type along Eastern MA.


As we head into Winter. Around this time we typically would have some more solid data on what is to come this upcoming Winter. Right now, data is still all over the place. A few things we are expecting this year are :


* Below average Temperatures

* 2-3+ Big Snow storms

* Above average Precip

* Above average Snowfall

* Few mild days being over 55 Deg.

* Return of the " Polar Vortex "


There are a few key elements that we look at to help us make our Winter Outlook. One thing we look at is the snow pack over Siberia and the snow pack over Canada.


image credit : natice.noaa.gov

Why is this so important? Well typically when the snow cover ( Especially Siberia ) is above normal, it typically predicts a NAO ( Negative Arctic Oscillation ) and as you'd think, when it's below normal, it predicts PWAO ( Positive Winter Arctic Oscillation ).


Based upon the snow pack over Canada and Siberia, we would go with a NAO.

Photo credit : University of Georgia

A NAO pattern as shown above would set us up for a potential snowy and stormy Winter. With a HLB ( High Latitude Bock ) in place, storms could potentially ride up the coast and enhance the precip in New England.


So now.. La Niña or El Niño?

LA Niña = colder based ( current thinking is a weak EL Niño )

EL Niño = warmer based



Projected Jet Stream for this upcoming Winter would favor a stormy track.

Source : NOAA

Another thing we are watching for this upcoming Winter is the Polar Vortex. When the cold air is stable and strong, it is usually centered in the Arctic. When it becomes unstable and wavy, cold air pushes south with ridges of warm air pushing North causing waves of VERY cold air to push into New England. I'm sure this will be common in Jan-Feb of 2019.




MCW Forecasted snowfall totals for Winter 2018-19

Winter Outlook Headlines :

As always, as new data comes in we will have a more clear picture of what is to come for this upcoming Winter. We have our green screen up, ready to go and will be reporting LIVE on the roads and in the studio this Winter. School closings will be posted on the website / social pages as they come in. Any questions feel free to ask us! Thank you for following MCW! Merrimack Valley's Weather Source!


- Shawn Kelley CEO MCW

Twitter: @ShawnMCWLowell

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