Early snow chance doesn’t signal overly snowy winter to come in New England

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – The chance for snow has popped up in western Massachusetts’ forecast this week for the first time this season. It’s still early, and nothing is guaranteed, but if snow does come to fruition, this would be an early start.

In the Pioneer Valley, the average first accumulating snow doesn’t happen until the end of November. 

While this early chance for snowflakes may have people running out to tune up their snow blowers, or get a new snow shovel and snow pants, it doesn’t exactly mean we’re going to have an overly snowy winter. 

In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s winter outlook, released in mid October, predicts the northeast to have a warmer than average winter. That doesn’t mean our winter will be summer-like, rather that temperatures will be a few degrees above seasonal normals. 

With warmer temperatures, that means it’s likely the precipitation, which right now is forecast to fall near normal, will fall heavier on the rain side rather than snow side. Precipitation forecasts take into account both rain, and the liquid equivalent of snow. 

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