December 28, 2011 —
UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY—Two years ago, many of the smaller lakes and ponds in the region had frozen over by Thanksgiving. But this year, it’s nearly January and the smaller lakes, such as Little Lake Erie in Narrowsburg, are just beginning to form a very thin layer of ice.
The La Nina phenomenon, which is a period of time during which water is slightly colder in the southern and central Pacific Ocean, has been operating throughout 2011 and is expected to last well into 2012. It normally produces slightly colder temperatures in this region, but La Nina is now relatively weak, and the picture is complicated by something called Arctic Oscillation, which is in part responsible for the mild weather so far this season.
Will the warm temperatures last? Forecasters have different opinions about that. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the temperature in the next three months could go in just about any direction, with warmer than average temperatures slightly more likely than colder than average. NWS projects that in Hawley, PA, there is a 37.0% chance for the average temperature during the three-month period to be higher than average, which is 29.4°F; there is a 33.0% chance for the average temperature to be between 26.9° and 29.4°; there is a 30.0% chance for the average temperature to be lower than 26.9°.