If you are a snow-lover living in New England, then you are probably hoping the Farmer’s Almanac forecast for this winter comes true.
The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a colder than average winter and also heavier than normal precipitation during the winter months.
This is not the forecast issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on August 15th, 2019.
As you can see in the graphics below, they predicted that it’s more likely that temperatures are above normal rather than below normal.
NOAA also predicted that there is an equal chance of above or below normal temperatures this winter.
There is always a high amount of uncertainty when the forecast is issued for an entire season, especially this far in advance.
NOAA will make an updated winter forecast later this year. Keep in mind, the “meteorological winter” is a little different than the calendar version of winter. The meteorological winter starts on Dec. 1 and runs through the end of February.
NOAA and other forecasters (Including the WPRI Pinpoint Weather Team) use many different climate and atmospheric variables when making long term forecasts.
One of these variables includes the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which is dependent on temperature patterns in the Pacific Ocean and the effect on weather patterns. This winter, there may not be a strong signal (No strong El Niño or strong La Niña) which makes the picture even cloudier when trying to make long term predictions.
The bottom line? The Farmer’s Almanac forecast can be a fun topic of discussion, but I wouldn’t put too much weight in the winter forecast, especially in August.