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Does a cool, wet summer mean a cold, snowy winter is headed our way?

Posted at 1:11 PM, Sep 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-13 23:36:45-04

By now you've probably wondered: it was a cool and kind of wet summer... are we in for a cold and snowy winter?

With all the hype floating around on social media about record-setting snowfall (which was a fake article by the way), plus the shot of cold in place for the last few days, this is a very valid question.

Top it off with things like South Dakota seeing over six inches of snow this week, you might think winter is cranked up and ready to go.

But not so fast.

Despite the dire predictions and total fantasy forecasts floating around out there, the truth is there is no scientific correlation between summer and winter. 

Wait, I'm sure you remember that there was one year where it was really cool in the summer and then the next winter was really cold and snowy, right? Sure. But like many things in weather, that's called chance.

If you flip a coin ten times, it can land on heads each and every time. However, the odds of it hitting heads is only 50 percent. It's all chance.

Often times it's our own memory that plays tricks on us. We easily confuse two seasons, or we choose to remember the worst of a season and think the entire season was like that.

Meteorologists and weather geeks have been crunching the numbers and looking for patterns for decades, but one cannot be found. The factors that create our summer weather are far different than those that make up our winter weather.

Moreover, there is a distinct pattern change that occurs every fall, which then helps kick off the winter season.

If you'd like to see more of the science behind this, I have gone in-depth on our Weather Blog and breakdown the top 20 coolest winters and summers and see if there is a connection at all. Plus, we look at the relationship of rainy summers to snowy winters. The numbers might surprise you.

The take away though is that just because we had a cool and wet summer, does not mean our winter is guaranteed to be cold and snowy. At this point, we have equal chances of it being cold and snowy as we do of it being warm and dry. Just like flipping a coin.

Our weather team is already looking for the winter pattern to start to take shape. Once it does, we'll be able to make our winter forecast and help you get ready for what the atmosphere will throw our way.

Keep checking and 41 Action News for the latest.