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Here, for all those who suffered through the various ravages of last winter, is the early forecast for this winter by Dr. Jerome Namias, head of the Climate Research Group at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. He bases it on some 40,000 observations taken in the North Pacific the past two and a half months. The nation's weather depends in good part on what happens in the North Pacific. Last year a high-pressure ridge sat over the Pacific Coast, and storms were diverted north across Alaska and Canada, causing drought in the West, before they moved south to freeze the East.
These are Dr. Namias' regional forecasts.
The West: "The pattern is entirely different from last year. Over the Pacific Northwest we will have normal or above normal rainfall and snow. I think the ski-resort people, the hydrologists and the agriculturalists will be happy."
The Midwest: "Storms from the Pacific Northwest usually carry into the western and northern plains. Last year many of those storms hopscotched the area. If the storms come in from the Pacific Northwest as anticipated, the snow pack along the plateau should be enhanced and the plains will be chilly and wet, but variable. There should be good snow in the Rockies."
The Great Lakes: "Buffalo is not likely to get buried again. The violent storms shouldn't be blowing across the Great Lakes as they did last year."
The East: "There is no made-up prediction as yet," says Namias, who is keeping a weather eye on an unstable area over the North Atlantic. "Usually a bad break from warm to cold like we had last year means it is more likely to remain colder than average. I expect this will happen again. The East should have more than normal snow but it should not be as cold as it was last year."