Winter weather preview

By WEEK Reporter

Winter weather preview

November 23, 2012 Updated Nov 26, 2012 at 10:40 AM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- Colder temperatures and holiday shopping mean winter can't be far away. 

Two winters ago, we had record snowfall and last winter, we saw record warmth.

So what can we expect this season?

Chief Meteorologist Chuck Collins has a preview:

Since weather is a science of extremes, you would think last winter's warm temperatures and a lack of major snowfall would translate into a harsh winter this time around.

But that's not always the case.

"Each winter is kind of independent, so there's really no correlation between last winter and the winter before," said National Weather Service Warning Coordinator Meteorologist Chris Miller.

 Miller says the winter season has a life of it's own even after a major drought like we had this summer.

"The following winter after a big drought, it's been all over the place. We've had some winters that were extremely cold, and wet, and other winters where drought conditions continued, and it was warm. So, there's not a lot of correlation there either," said Miller.

The upcoming winter is being described as neutral, which means one week it could be a smooth ride, the next week a bumpy road.

"We usually see temperatures all over the place, really variable through the winter, several cold snaps followed by warming up, that type of thing, so we're looking for that," explained Miller. "Precipitation wise, we usually in this type of pattern trend toward normal type of winter weather."

Since last winter was so mild, Miller cautions that even a normal winter will feel colder.

"We didn't have a lot of snow, we didn't have anything in the way of ice or anything last winter that caused any major problems, so this year when we get that first snow and we get that ice, that's what's gonna cause some problems for folks, because it's just been a couple years since we've had to deal with weather like that."

So when experiencing winter weather, use common sense, slow down, and remember the words of the poet George Herbert who once said: "Every mile is two in winter."

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