Though temperatures in September averaged about 5 degrees higher than normal in the area, forecasters are advising against taking that as a predictor of winter weather.
The next three months may continue to offer slightly warmer-than-normal days, but when the bitter cold arrives, it will be very cold, according to AccuWeather.
“It might be a rude awakening,” said Evan Duffey, a meteorologist with AccuWeather. In January and early February, cold weather in northern states may move south and cause temperatures to drop 6 to 8 degrees below normal in Nebraska, Duffey said.
“When it gets cold, it looks like it will be really cold,” Duffey said. Snowfall should be about normal this year, but the cold stretches could delay spring weather.
Byron Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Valley, said because this is not an El Niño or La Niña year, it’s hard to predict clear winter weather patterns this far out.
Last year the stretch from December to February was the 12th-warmest on record, averaging 5 degrees above normal, Miller said.
But last year’s temperatures and the warm days this September are no indication of what Omaha-area residents can expect for winter, he said.
“Unfortunately,” Miller said, “what we are feeling now can’t tell us much about what we’ll see in winter.”