Forecasters struggle with weather variables

Weather typically becomes a greater consideration around this time of the year in wood products markets. From snowfall in the Northeast and Midwest to rains in the Southeast, their impact on both production and demand can be significant. The following is what some weather forecasters are expecting this winter.

In the Northeast, any extended frigid temperatures are not expected until after New Years. Winter weather is anticipated to begin mildly throughout the East, except for some brief periods of cold air this month. As early as January or as late as February, snow is expected to begin falling along the northern I-95 corridor.

There does not appear to be as much of a consensus for weather in the Southeast this winter. While some forecasters predict below-average temperatures in the Southeast, especially in early winter, others project above-normal temperatures in that region. If warmer weather materializes, heavy rains along the Gulf Coast could lead to flooding in December and February.

The Southwest is expected to experience a mild winter and above-average temperatures. Potential for this is greatest from the Desert Southwest into the south-central states.

Forecasters expect the most severe winter weather in the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. There is potential for high snow totals in the period of December into January. Extreme cold is forecasted in the Dakotas and Minnesota later in the winter.

In the West, forecasters anticipate Coastal states to experience warmer-than-normal temperatures, which will deliver more rain or drier weather, depending on the forecast. California is expected to receive a heavy dose of moisture from December through January. Rocky Mountain States should anticipate temperatures below normal.

Overall, the potential for frigid weather in the Upper Midwest and a later snowfall in the East appears greatest. As for the Southeast, rainfall measurements look to be dicey.

This article was provided by Crow’s Market and Price Service/RISI. For a free trial of this service, visit

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