At the start of last week, we had quite an outbreak of chilly weather. In fact, three straight days - October 8, 9, and 10 - when the temperature didn't get out of the 50s. It's always interesting to ask: does such an early cool spell suggest anything about the coming winter?

I checked back over the last century, and found ten other years when there was an early-season chilldown that was similar to the one we just went through. I then looked at the winters that followed those past chilldowns. The average temperature for that select group of ten winters was about the same as the overall average winter temperature around here, so there didnít seem to be any trend there.

One thing to note, though. The average from that select group of ten WAS several degrees colder than our last three relatively mild winters.

So whatís it mean? Considering not just this informal study but other information, I think there's a pretty good chance that this coming winter will be colder than any of the last three, which means temperatures will be much closer to what's considered average for winter around here.

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