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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Early Cold And Snow Not Predictors For Winter

Yesterday Chicago saw a dusting of snow, but being early in the season, it broke the record for the amount of snow on that date.

Now the East Coast is bracing for a cold snap that is expected to send low temperatures into the 30s.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Hurley tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that the early cold is not a strong prediction of things to come for the rest of the season.




We want to take a quick moment to take a look at weather. Was that snow yesterday in Chicago? Not a lot, but it tied the record for the date, and now the East Coast is bracing. Brian Hurley is with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Brian, is that snow a dusting? Yes, but at this date, is that unusual in Chicago?

BRIAN HURLEY: Yes, for some areas certainly, as you noted, that earliest recorded measurable snow. Generally not for other areas. In and around the Iowa and Illinois, there were some one to two-inch accumulations. In fact, LaSalle County, Illinois, had two inches. There were other areas of an inch in that general vicinity, so unusual to get that kind of accumulation this early, but certainly for most areas not a record, however.

For accumulating snow, it's somewhat unusual, but you know, as we get into the second half of October, it certainly becomes more and more likely as we get towards November 1.

YOUNG: Well, what about the East Coast? Because we hear that cold front's coming towards us, people frantically hauling pots off the porch. And of course we have a little ballgame here in Boston. We're hearing temperatures are supposed to drop like 20, 30 degrees.

HURLEY: Right, exactly. There's a snow outlook for the East Coast. People don't have to worry about that. There will be some snow, light accumulations (unintelligible) of the Great Lakes, usually in elevated terrain, however - the Tug Hill Plateau, areas in northwest Pennsylvania east of Eerie, Pennsylvania especially, and in western Virginia. Again, these are all elevated areas. So that's always good news, especially for the big cities along the East Coast, not to have any snow in the forecast.

However, they'll definitely notice the temperatures. We've already become seasonably cool recently. Temperatures are going to drop even lower than that. For most areas, especially along the coastal plains, along the coast, mid-Atlantic up to the Northeast, they will be seeing their first frost and freeze of the season going into the next two days and certainly lasting into the weekend, actually, this recent cold snap, if you will. Not unusual, though, for this time of year. Temperatures will be below normal, but not - doesn't look like there will be a lot of records shattered because we are getting into the latter(ph) part of October.

YOUNG: Well, it may not be good for certain pitchers on both Cardinals and the Red Sox at Fenway.

HURLEY: Exactly, it will be definitely chilly. Really, you know, when you look at Boston, New York, temperatures going for the next couple days are going to struggle through the 50s during the day, and at night certainly into the 30s and even colder in some of those outlying areas, certainly. So with that said, we'll see - there will be some frost and some hard freezes in those areas.

YOUNG: Brian Hurley with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, thanks so much.

HURLEY: You're welcome, thank you.


And Robin, I can just hear the letters coming in from our listeners in San Diego, saying well good luck with all that.

YOUNG: Good luck. And what you might not hear at Fenway Park tonight is it's going to be hard with fans of both the Cardinals and the Red Sox applauding in ski gloves. It's very quiet.


HOBSON: Well, coming up later, by the way, a program note on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, a NASA mission to the moon has completed the first high-bandwidth space-to-ground communication using a laser instead of radio systems, could revolutionize deep-space communication. That's on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED later. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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