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Prepare For 'Bitter Cold' This Winter, Warns New Long-Term Outlooks

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 11, 2016 2:51PM

Chicago winters tend to alternate between relative tolerability and Hoth-like frozen hellscapes. We’re sorry to say, the latest outlook confirms earlier predictions: the upcoming cold season will likely be a long and cold and unforgiving.

“It will feel like an extended winter” for regions between the northern plains and the upper East, including the Midwest, according to a recent AccuWeather forecast.

“Shots of brutally cold air” are expected to sting our area, with some late-year precipitation compounding the chill. AccuWeather notes:

“Developing snowpack in early December may contribute to even colder weather. Temperatures will plummet as the season goes on, averaging 6 to 9 degrees lower overall than last winter.”

Some portions of the Midwest regions could drop as low as 20 or 30 degrees below zero (!), according to AccuWeather Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok. We should expect the cold air by late November—plus an early lake effect.

We double-checked AccuWeather’s forecast against the National Weather Service’s seasonal climate outlook in hopes of some finding some countervailing evidence, but they appear to confirm a similar prediction. (Sorry.) From December through April, maps show a 33 percent chance of higher-than-average temperatures and the same likelihood of above-average precipitation. Snowpacalypse Redux, anyone?

Maybe it's a good thing those ubiquitous Canada Goose coats were all the rage last year. You're probably gonna need 'em.