Weather

AccuWeather releases Boston snowfall prediction for upcoming winter

Boston received 54 inches of snow last winter.

Father and son walk up a snowy hill at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain
Jack Crawford, 6, and his dad, Derrick Crawford, walk back up this small hill in The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University on Feb. 13, 2022. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Weather

Now that we’re comfortably into autumn, it’s that time of year for the big question here in Massachusetts: Will we get more snow or less snow than last winter?

AccuWeather sees another option: Probably the same amount.

In its 2022-2023 winter forecast, the forecast giant predicts Boston will see relatively the same snowfall total as the city received last season, which was approximately 54 inches of snow.

“Boston may end up being the only major city along the Interstate 95 corridor that finishes the winter with near-normal snowfall,” the forecaster said. “AccuWeather long-range forecasters are predicting that 40 to 50 inches will accumulate in the city, around the average snowfall amount of 49.2 inches.”

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The company also sees the city having between 16 and 20 days of accumulating snow this season.

Of course, long-range forecasting is not always accurate. In fact, meteorologists say these kinds of models can be rather finicky, even as technology has improved in recent years.

AccuWeather said its process “involves a team of veteran long-range forecasters analyzing computer models, looking at how previous winters have played out and using their own personal experience to determine if it’s going to be a snowy winter, if and when the polar vortex will unleash Arctic air across North America and whether it will be a good season for skiers.”

As a whole, AccuWeather envisions a snowy winter across most of the northern half of the United States, with patterns driven largely by a La Niña phenomenon — when cooler than average water near the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean influences the jet stream — for a third winter in a row.

But AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Pastelok said no two La Niña winters are exactly the same.

“These third-year La Niñas are very tricky,” he said.

In the Northeast, fall began with a particularly chilly start. AccuWeather said the early days of winter won’t be the same, though.

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“Residents across the Northeast and Midwest will experience a few winter previews in November and December as waves of cold air dive down from Canada, but the biggest blasts of cold air will hold off until later in the winter,” AccuWeather said.

As for New England, outside of Boston, the forecasting company said the region is “one of the only areas east of the Rocky Mountains where snowfall could end up being above normal.

“The snowfall totals will be boosted by a few nor’easters, with January and March bringing the highest chances of powerful coastal snowstorms.”

And for winter sports fanatics that is, of course, good news.

“Resorts in Vermont and New Hampshire could end up being the best places to ski this winter across the eastern U.S. due to a boost from natural snowfall,” AccuWeather said.

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