Publisher’s Message: The 2015-16 Winter Forecast

We reside in Cleveland, so plowing snow, winterizing equipment and working in the cold is an annual tradition (like watching the Browns lose). Much of this issue is dedicated to those construction and landscape contractors in the north who adapt parts of their businesses to snow removal during the winter work months. Thumb through it, and you’ll find excellent advice for preparing your winter construction operations (“Snow Safety” on page 16, print issue), upfitting your skid steers for the cold (“Snow Patrol” on page 22, print issue) and buying new snow removal tools (“10 Questions about Commercial Snow Blowers” on page 44, print issue).

Unfortunately for snow pros, this winter looks like it might be a warm one, depending on where you live. According to the long-range, scientific analysis of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this winter might be one of the strongest El Niño events in the last 50 years. The forecast bodes well for the skiers and snowboarders of California, Arizona, southern Colorado and New Mexico with predictions of above average precipitation and below average temperatures. The forecast is not looking nearly as good for the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the

Midwest (the latter of which is in for a particularly bad year with 30 to 40 percent less than the average snowfall being projected). As of now, the Northeast has an equal chance for average snowfall, according to the NOAA.

Using a slightly different predictive model, the editors of the Farmers’ Almanac have a decidedly different view of the2015-16 winter season. Depending on where you live and how much cold and snow you like, we have good news and bad news. According to the 2016 edition, winter will once again split the country in half, with the eastern sections of the country on tap for frigidly cold conditions, and the other half predicted to experience milder to more normal winter conditions.

Precipitation-wise, if you like snow, the 2016 almanac says you should head out to the northern and central Great Plains (most of the North Central States), the Great Lakes, New England (sorry Boston!) and parts of the Ohio Valley where snowier-than-normal conditions are forecast. Guess that means a good winter for the snow professionals in Cleveland again. Just remember: Snow presents one of the most challenging forecasting formulas for scientists to conquer — not only predicting when and where snow will fall, but measuring how much has fallen. Regardless of the predictions, this issue of CE is built to help you capitalize on the winter season ahead to find new work, outfit your equipment properly, keep safe and earn extra income.

Keith Gribbins
Associate Publisher
Kgribbins@benjaminmedia.com

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