Musings of a Beaverton Teen: What Kind of Winter Will We Have?

By Lani Garcia (11th Grader)20 Musings snowman

With the colder months finally here, there’s one big question that always pops up. What kind of winter are we going to have? Will it snow a lot, or not at all? I hear my classmates giving their predictions, and there are many different opinions on this topic. A lot of people think it will snow a lot due to the fact that it did last year, and for the same reason, some people think it won’t. I would really like to know the answer myself, but unfortunately it’s not that simple.

The Farmer’s Almanac, founded in 1792, is a book that comes out with new editions every year, and contains long-term weather forecasts, planting charts, astronomical data, etc. It says the Pacific Northwest will be slightly colder than normal, but drier. This means there probably won’t be as much snow as we had last year.

The Weather Channel says that La Niña conditions have already formed, and have a 65- to 75- percent chance of staying through the winter. Usually when this happens, the northern part of the United States has below-average temperatures. There can also be above-average precipitation, which is at odds with The Farmer’s Almanac. A La Niña is when the equatorial Pacific Ocean is just half of a degree Celsius cooler than normal, according to The Weather Channel.

Local weathermen: And then there are the local forecasters like Mark Nelsen, a meteorologist from FOX 12. He says “…having a La Niña doesn’t mean we will get snow/ice in the lowlands, but being slightly cooler gets us a bit closer.”

Chances of Xmas Snow? Well, if it is going to snow at all, there is one day I think most people would choose… Christmas. Chances of a White Christmas? Mark Nelsen says there is just a 4% chance of having 1 inch or more snow on the ground in the metro area. It’s only happened twice in the last 100 years, in 1937 and 2008. There’s still hope, right? Let me apologize now to all the snow-haters out there, but I will be doing my snow dance on Christmas-eve!

Lani is a Junior at Beaverton High School. As a ZooTeen, she volunteers at the Oregon Zoo during the summer. She plays piano & guitar, and enjoyed doing dragon boats this past year.