Meteorologist Mike Hoffman reveals his 2018 Winter Weather Outlook

Published: Oct. 30, 2018 at 7:51 PM EDT
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StormTeam 16 Meteorologist Mike Hoffman revealed his 2018 Winter Weather Outlook on Tuesday:

There are many different ways of forecasting long range weather. That's why you find a wide range of forecasts. Already some this season are suggesting a very mild winter, and some are forecasting cold and snowy.

I've been leaning toward "cold and snowy" for the last couple of months now. The process that has served me well over the years is to look at the overall ocean temperature patterns, and to come up with a handful of years that are close to what is going on right now. Then I research those years to see which ones had similar weather during the fall.

Overall, we are looking at what is expected to be a weak El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, but one that is different in that it will be centered farther west. Many El Ninos have the warmest water off the South American coast. This one should be centered farther west, and those types of El Ninos give us a different weather pattern.

We also have warmer than normal water in the northern Pacific, which tends to take weather patterns in Alaska farther north. When this happens, the pattern then dips south across North America, bringing the Arctic Air with it. In this case, I also believe that the main storm path will be to our south. That may mean that our non-lake-effect areas get less snow than normal.

So, overall, I am forecasting temperatures to be about 3 degrees colder than normal, meaning an average high of 31 and an average low of 17.

I am forecasting total snow officially in South Bend to be 75". That's about 8.4" more snow than normal. One of the years that looked similar in the past, though, was 1977/78. That was a HUGE winter with 172" of snow! That is not likely, but it is within the realm of possibility. Only time will tell, but more than likely we'll have some milder periods, which did not happen in 77/78.

Watch the attached video for more.