Another snow job

With Purg beginning snow-making in anticipation of its Nov. 22 opening, winter
has begun creeping into the local psyche.

And while October 2019 is eerily similar to October 2017, weather gurus, diviners and prognosticators say fear not, ye shredders of little faith.

According to AccuWeather’s annual winter forecast, released Oct. 3, the Southwest and California can expect a cool, unsettled pattern this winter. “These areas could see back-and-forth conditions, between some periods of dry weather and some active weather,” AccuWeather Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

In other words, a typical winter, whatever that means. “A normal season in terms of snowfall will translate to decent ski conditions,” he predicted.

However, if you’ve got that trip to Whistler planned, you may want to hold off. Strong high pressure is likely to build over the Northwest, leading to dry conditions and above-average temps.

“I can see some places this winter in the Northwest being about 20 to 40 percent lower on snowfall compared to average,” Pastelok said.

In even better news, the AccuWeather forecast seems to align with those from the competing Farmers’ Almanac and Old Farmer’s Almanac (the latter getting the “old” moniker, being founded in 1792, 26 years before its predecessor.)

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, this winter promises so many ups and downs on the thermometer it’s being dubbed the “Polar Coaster.”

“Our extended forecast is calling for yet another freezing, frigid, and frosty winter for two-thirds of the country,” Editor Peter Geiger said.

Colorado can expect “frigid and snowy” conditions, according to the Farmers map.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts much the same, promising a “pow pow” (yes, that term seems to have officially jumped the shark) packed winter from the Northeast to the Rockies.

The Old Farmer’s is predicting no fewer than seven snowstorms this winter, with many places seeing flakes flying by mid-November and more serious accumulations over the holidays. Overall, it’s calling for below-average temps and above-average precip for the southern Rockies.

Of course, all this should be taken with a grain of rock salt. According to Popular Mechanics, the almanacs are “mostly full of crap.” The now-defunct Vane website went so far as to call the almanacs "a bunch of malarkey.”

Although both almanacs claim they can predict weather with around 80 percent accuracy, a University of Illinois study found they were only about 52 percent accurate – basically, the equivalent of throwing a dart at a map.

But then again, taking a snowstake half-full approach, there’s a 50 percent chance they’ll be right.

Now, where’s the snow shovel?

Top Stories

Summer surge
07/09/2020
Summer surge
By Missy Votel

The mercury is not the only thing climbing right now. In recent weeks, La Plata County has seen an uptick in the COVID curve, according to San Juan Basin Health Department, which began tracking cases March 23.

Read More
Waste not, want not
06/25/2020
Waste not, want not
By Missy Votel

Hundreds of tons of radioactive tailings could soon be knocking on the doorstep of southeastern Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument.

Read More
County seeks input – once again – on update to 35-year-old land-use code
06/18/2020
County seeks input – once again – on update to 35-year-old land-use code
By Missy Votel

After several fits and starts, an update to La Plata County’s 35-year-old land use plan is finally gaining traction again.

Read More
The voting block
06/18/2020
The voting block
By Hayley Sanchez Colorado Public Radio

Protesters in Colorado calling for justice and police defunding over the killing of George Floyd has mobilized a new generation of young people politically.

Read More
Read All in Top Stories

The Pole

Chew on this
07/09/2020

Sure, those whistling marmots are cute on the trail. But while you’re dipping your toes into a clear alpine lake, those furry buggers just may be wreaking havoc on your car’s electrical system back at the trailhead.

Going electric
07/09/2020

Mountain bikers, start your engines. The eMTB trial period at Twin Buttes is officially under way.

The fleecing of America
06/25/2020

A life without fleece may seem as unthinkable as a life without dogs, flip flops
or Subarus

Highly unusual
06/18/2020

How high can you really get? A new study by researchers at CU Boulder has found out that huge levels of THC don’t necessarily translate into a huge buzz

Read All Stories in the Pole