By Nathan Ham
Ray Russell, founder and president of RaysWeather.com, released his annual Fearless Winter Forecast and is expecting slightly warmer temperatures than average and about 20 percent less snowfall than average.
“While we will have snow and cold periods, it will be difficult to lock in cold for long periods of time,” Russell said in his forecast summary.
The highest elevations of the High Country at Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain are predicted to receive 70 inches of snowfall. Banner Elk is predicted to have 34 inches of snow while Boone comes in at 29 inches. Jefferson and West Jefferson are predicted to have around 18 inches of snow and Sparta is predicted to have 16 inches of snow.
Looking at last year’s forecast, it was one of the lowest snowfall seasons on record for several locations, according to Russell.
“RaysWeather.Com has produced a long-range winter forecast for 18 years. Last year, we forecast less than average snow, about average temperatures, and an early end to winter. The winter brought MUCH less than average snow, warmer than average temperatures, and what little winter we had ended early,” explained Russell.
Taking a deeper dive into the forecast for this winter, a La Nina effect in the Pacific Ocean will likely result in less than average snow for the area. The 60-year average snowfall total for Boone is 40.1 inches.
For an even more in-depth look at the Fearless Winter Forecast, click here.