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Ray’s Weather Center’s ‘Fearless Forecast’ for 2013-14 Winter

By Jesse Wood

Oct. 21, 2013. After declaring “never again” last year, Ray Russell of Ray’s Weather Center had a change of heart and released his “Fearless Forecast” for winter 2013-14 that predicts slightly warmer temperatures than normal and slightly less snow than the 54-year average.

While discounting folklore weather predictions such as the color of woolly worm segments or beans in the jar for each fog in August as fun but unscientific, the Fearless Forecast notes – before diving into any predictions – that “seasonal forecasting is an impossible business.”  

“Yes, we can see some things coming; however, weather is a very complex system especially when we try to look 3-5 months down the road. Every long-range indicator we have has a thousand caveats … A great outcome for long-range forecasters is to be on the right side of average 70% of the time; that’s “genius level long-range forecasting,” Russell wrote. “…Last fall (and last’s winter’s forecast was pretty good, not great but pretty good), I declared “never again”. I was afraid that even entering into this arena cheapened our brand and sometimes overshadowed what we do best–have fun while being the most reliable forecast for Western North Carolina.  But as the time for a Winter Forecast approached, I changed my mind–our readers want a Winter Forecast.”

But, once again, he reminded readers to not to take too much stock into his forecast and the confidence level with this prediction, as with all long-term forecasts, is low.

For the modeling behind this forecast, click here.

Here is the expected total snow/ice for winter 2013-14 from Ray’s Weather Center’s Fearless Forecast:

  • Banner Elk: 43 inches
  • Beech Mountain: 100 inches
  • Boone: 38 inches
  • Jefferson/West Jefferson: 26 inches
  • Sugar Mountain: 90 inches

For Asheville, Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton, Mount Airy, Sparta, Spruce Pine, Waynesville and Wilkesboro, click here