Yesterday, #Government analysts at the Department of Energy said to expect higher heating bills this winter, even if it’s natural gas, heating oil, propane, or electricity. That’s based on a likely colder winter and higher costs for fossil fuel power. The winter of 2015- 2016 was notable as having above-normal temperatures arising from a strong, naturally occurring El Nino. An El Nino occurs when the tropical Pacific Ocean shows higher-than-normal temps for at least three consecutive months.

The DOE notes the demand for heating fuels last winter was the lowest level in 25 years. That translated into the United States emitting far less carbon dioxide emissions, the greenhouse gas blamed for any perceived increases in temperatures. NOAA says that this winter will be cold due to a La Nina developing, where the tropical Pacific Ocean has lower-than-normal temps. This means colder winters for the Northern Hemisphere. Yesterday, NOAA wrote there was a “70 percent chance a La Nina will develop this fall.”

La Nina’s role

NOAA doesn’t expect the La Nina to be as strong as in previous years and is only 55 percent confident a La Nina event will persist long enough to be classified as a full-blown event. NOAA admits the “greater cooling in the tropical Pacific forecasted in the spring and summer by computer models didn’t occur.” If the computer models for a weaker La Nina are wrong, heating bills could likely soar. If the La Nina forecasts turn out to be overly robust, expect U.S. weather and overall climate to be impacted more heavily.

Is there a Weather ? 5 of Boston’s snowiest winters on record (since 1800s) were in the last 10 years 

More snow and colder temperatures would be good #News for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts. Last year saw cold temperatures, but very little precipitation due to the lack of excessive water vapor in the