Now that we're solidly past the start of fall, you might find yourself asking, "When will it get cold?" First, meteorologists predicted that winter would be "bitterly cold," but now they're saying it might be warmer than normal. We don't blame you for wanting a straight answer, so we did a little digging to find out when it will start to get cold (You can commence dreaming about a winter wonderland!).
Most Northern states can expect winter weather by mid-November if not earlier, according to Alaskan meteorologist Brian Brettschneider. Some states, specifically those in which the Rockies run through, should already be experiencing colder temperatures. Denver, for example, saw its first snow earlier this month.
Brettschneider used a system called the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI) to determine the median start date of winter. He combed through data from the past 40 years, recording the dates when the first measurable snow (0.1 inches or greater) appeared or the high temperature of 32 degrees or lower was noted.
Not surprisingly, the farther north you go, the earlier the first day of winter, for the most part. If you think it's too early to already be putting on your winter coats, count your blessings that you don't live in Northern Canada, where winter starts in July.
Another given is how late winter (if you can even call it that) reaches the southern states. The states along the Mexican border, as well as those that sit along the Gulf Coast, won't see chilly weather until December. In fact, many places in those states won't even see snow. Must be nice not to have to shovel!
If you're interested in how severe winter weather will be in your area, you can track the AWSSI at the Midwestern Regional Climate Center's website. According to their current calculations, most states are experiencing average winters. That said, some cities — specifically Havre, Montana — are experiencing severe or extreme weather. Yikes!
These interesting Thanksigiving facts will get you in the winter mood.