Winter: Beyond the Groundhog

It has been a rough winter around here for the citizenry and for most of the folks who had tried their hands at forecasting what it was going to be like.

Among those was Accu-Weather's Joe Bastardi, who had foreseen a cool start and then a warm-up. In early January, he issued an uh-oh update. 

As others, Bastardi originally was counting on La Nina, the anomalous cooling of waters in the equatorial Pacific, to warm things up later in the winter.

This is a particularly strong one, and strong La Ninas generally have coincided with mild winters around here.

Not this time. Bastardi says that's a bad sign, because post-La Nina winters tend to be cold across the United States.

This morning he went so far as to predict that "three or four" of the next five winters will see below-normal temperatures in the United States.

He also said that next winter could be even colder than this one, which is on track to become the chilliest since the 1980s.

Citing longer-term changes in the Pacific temperature profile, he believes the United States is in for 20- to 30-year period of harsh winters.

Earlier, we posted the wintry thoughts of NBC-10 meteorologist Glenn Schwartz. See "'Hurricane' vs. winter" below.

Phil, meanwhile, is predicting an early spring.