Maryland Weather Meteorology, astronomy and climate conditions in the Baltimore region

AccuWeather predicts normal winter snowfall; Weather Channel releases storm names

AccuWeather.com meteorologists are predicting normal snowfall along the Interstate 95 corridor this winter, but chances for accumulations well above normal to its west.

They said colder-than-normal temperatures expected in January could allow snow totals to rise. AccuWeather issued the predictions in a seasonal outlook.

“Areas in the I-95 corridor will average close to normal, within a few inches,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. “Areas away from the I-95 corridor have a better chance at a big snowfall.”

Normal snowfall in Baltimore is about 18-20 inches. The region has exceeded that in three of the past four winters — all except last winter, when a paltry 3 inches fell at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

One key climate signal suggests snowfall will be sparse once again. Meteorologists expect a weak La Niña to form by this winter. The climate pattern is the opposite of El Niño and is marked by cooler-than-normal waters in the Pacific Ocean, which trigger weather changes around the globe.

Average Baltimore snowfall during weak La Niña winters is just 10.9 inches since 1950, according to the National Weather Service.

Any winter storms that hit the region could come with names like Benji, Grayson, Kalani, Mateo, Quinn or Yvonne. The Weather Channel released its annual list of winter storm names on Thursday.

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