Chief Meteorologist Stephen Cropper’s Winter Weather Forecast

Chief Meteorologist Stephen Cropper’s Winter Weather Forecast

PITTSBURGH — To see the full Winter Weather Forecast, watch the video above but below are the highlights.

You may get more use out of your umbrella and ice scraper again this winter as another below-average snowfall season is setting up. Last winter only 22 inches of snow fell across the area, which is a little more than half the average seasonal snowfall of 41 inches.

This winter, a warmer and wetter pattern should bring us about 32 inches of snow.

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You’ll still need the snow shovel and snowblower at times this year, but the pattern is showing signs of quick shots of snow followed by frequent warmups in between. Because the pattern will be wetter, that means the storm track will be key in determining what type of winter weather falls.

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Most of our snow should come from quick-moving Alberta clippers, bringing sharp temperature drops and several inches of snow. It will also be warmer this winter, which could mean more frequent bands of lake effect snow. Lake Erie will be slower to freeze this winter, which provides fuel for streamer bands of lake effect snow to coat the ground as storms move out.

Severe Weather Team 11 will also be watching for more frequent rounds of wintry mix-type storms this year, with sleet and freezing rain. Those are the storms that bring a wide range of precipitation types, sometimes dropping several inches of snow in Butler, freezing rain in Pittsburgh and straight rain in Washington.

A wetter pattern could also mean a bigger snowstorm of 5 inches or more, but the details will not come into focus until we see the storms form.

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