The National Weather Service did not really say to get out of Dodge before next winter, but they do think it is likely to be colder than normal with above-normal precipitation. Then again, normal is a moving target. The NWS has just re-calibrated normal for Montana, with interesting results.
First, according to Tanja Fransen, warning coordination meteorologist at the Glasgow office of the NWS, it looks like La Nina (colder than normal Pacific Ocean equatorial temperatures) is probably going to make a comeback.
“We aren't starting out as cold as we did a year ago, but that will have an impact on our winter once again. The latest three-month outlooks were updated last week, and while they are pretty much showing equal chances of above/below normal temperatures and precipitation, as they grow more confident that La Nina will occur in the next month or two, those outlooks will likely show a colder than normal trend through the winter, with above normal precipitation.”
The NWS has recently received the latest climate normals update, Fransen said. They had been using data from 1971-2000, but they now have the 1981-2010 normals in their system.
Fransen pointed out some interesting changes that occurred:
Overnight lows in January are much warmer than they were in the previous set of normals (this is our area, as well as nationwide)
At Glasgow, the previous snowfall normal was 30 inches. We are now at 36.1 inches. The old normal precipitation for a year was 11.22 inches, and it is now 11.61 inches.