According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this winter looks to be much like the winter of 2000. As the official beginning of winter rapidly approaches, students are bundling up to protect themselves from this year’s wintry oncoming onslaught.

“Don’t let the recent short-sleeve temperatures fool you. The U.S. remains on track for a repeat of last winter,” the NOAA warns.

Despite that, the last month hasn’t shown any signs of the upcoming cold. Glenn Johnson of WOKR-TV 13 feels that the month of November was unusual for Rochester.

“The reason we haven’t had any snow this month is because the overall weather pattern is not conducive to it. The jetstream right now is focusing on the western half of the U.S., and the South and Midwest, and, as a result, they’re the ones getting the bad storms,” Johnson said.

“In fact, 22 of the last 28 days in November have been above average temperature-wise this month. Usually, we average around seven inches of snow during November, but we’ve only had trace amounts of it, so far.

“Until there’s a dramatic change in the weather system,” Johnson said, “this trend should continue. Over the next two weeks, however, there shouldn’t be any dramatic change in the weather, although we may receive some flurries and rain.”

For the month of December, meteorologist Bill Hibert of the National Weather Service in Buffalo believes that “there will be a colder spell for the month. Although it’s wind-dependent, it looks like there will be a greater probability of lake effect snowfall due to the Arctic Oscillation,” Hibert said.

Johnson also warns of coming snow. “We’ve had seasons like this before, where we get very little in the way of snowfall in November and the beginning of December, but we usually get dumped on around Christmas and New Years’ Day,” he said. “On average, there’s 30 to 40 percent chance of getting a white Christmas, if you look at previous years.”

“As far as this year is concerned,” Johnson says, “we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Overall, meteorologist Mark McLean of WOKR-TV 13 predicts “this winter looks to be a little bit cooler than normal, although it’s a above normal now, temperature-wise.”

Speaking of the coming wintry conditions, McLean says, “This kind of weather slows things down. When the lake effect snow develops, things really get messed up travel-wise. It will be especially cold with that north west wind coming in.”

Freshman Marie Hunter doesn’t think much of the coming winter. “From what it sounds like the weather here’s not too much different from where I’m from, Cleveland,” she said. “I’ll just plan on layering myself, so I can take off stuff when I go inside. I’m sure the weather will affect my travel plans, considering my parents are supposed to drive me back.”

More experienced students are not always used to the weather. Sophomore Lauren Weiss has experienced the weather in Rochester before, and does not like it.

“Going home is always hard, because I have to go through the ‘Snowbelt.’ I remember one time that I got stuck in Buffalo for nine hours due to the bad weather,” she said.

“I really hate the weather here,” Weiss said. “When it’s cold, I hate getting up, and I hate going to class. Whenever I complain about the weather to anyone that’s lived here for a long time, they just say, ‘If you don’t like the weather here, just wait five minutes.’ It changes that quickly.”

However, the winter is coming. “It’s going to be a cold winter,” Hunter says. “I guess we’ll just have to wait it out like every other year.”

Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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