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WINTER FORECAST: Here's How Much Snow and Cold Omaha Could See

Hate it or love it, the snow is coming
Posted at 1:07 PM, Nov 17, 2023
  • The waters of the Pacific Ocean near the equator have been warming, taking the globe from a La Nina pattern to an En Nino pattern, which will likely impact our weather this winter.
  • After two quiet winters in a row, we are expecting higher snow totals this year, although parts of the winter may be warmer than average.
  • Watch the video to see to see how much snow we average each month, what past El Nino winters have brought us for snow, and what the KMTV 3 Weather Team thinks winter will look like month by month.

Over the last three winters, the water temperatures near the surface of the Pacific Ocean near the equator have been running cooler than average, putting is in a La Nina pattern. These water temperatures can actually shift the global weather patterns... and for the last two years likely contributed to our low snow totals. In the winter of 2022-23, Omaha only measured 13.8 inches of snow at Eppley Airfield.
As the Pacific waters have warmed, we have now switched to an El Nino weather pattern, which likely strengthens into winter. This typically brings warmer than average weather across much of the northern United States, including in Nebraska and Iowa. The southern U.S. tends to be wetter than normal and the southeast part of the country tends to run cooler. While this is the normal, every El Nino is different and those patterns are not a guarantee.

Depending on how much warmer than normal the Pacific waters are, El Ninos are ranked as weak, moderate, and strong. Each of these can also influence the amount of change in the global patterns. We will likely be in a strong El Nino this winter, which last happened in 2015-16, when Omaha saw 27.4 inches of snow.

Now for our Forecast...

In December, we think temperatures will run above average overall, helping to bring more of what falls from the sky as rain, putting snow below average for the month.

In January, we think temperatures will be near average, allowing snow totals to push above average for the month.

In February, we think temperatures will be slightly above average, but it's February, so it will still be plenty cold! For snow, we have totals coming in near average for the month.

Once we add it all up, we think the overall winter will be slightly warmer than average with snow totals slightly above average. The current 30-year average for snow in Omaha is 27.2" - so for winter 2023-24, we are forecasting 27 to 31 inches.

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