The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a “teeth-chattering” cold winter “with plenty of snow,” contrasting the National Weather Service’s outlook.
“Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, and snow-filled winter. We stand by our forecast and formula, which accurately predicted the many storms last winter, as well as this summer’s steamy, hot conditions,” said Farmer’s Almanac editor Peter Geiger.
The Almanac said the winter of 2018-2019 will be “colder than normal” and namely from the “Continental Divide east through the Appalachians.”
“So just how cold will it be? The real teeth-chattering arrives mid-February especially in the following zones: Northeast/New England, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Midwest, and Southeast (yes, even the Southeast will be in the chill zone!),” it said.
The forecast predicts that an Arctic cold front at that time will create a sharp drop in temperature. At that time, “widespread snow showers/squall activity” will form along a frontal line. “Blustery and bitter winds” will be the norm, it said.
Regarding snowfall, there will be above-normal amounts for the Great Lakes, Midwest, New England, and Pacific Northwest, the Almanac forecasted. “The Almanac also forecasts an unusually snowy and/or wet winter across the Pacific Northwest, Northeast, and mid-Atlantic States; in these regions, the thermometer will be hovering just above or just below the freezing mark, which means some of the precipitation may fall as either ice or rain/freezing rain,” it said.
And, “Winter will hang on with stormy conditions up through the official start of spring, especially for the East Coast,” forecasters said.
At the start of spring, the Almanac predicted, snow, sleet, gusty winds, and rain could hit many areas.
“In particular, we are red-flagging March 20–23 for a potent East Coast storm that could deliver a wide variety of wintry precipitation just as we are making the transition from winter to spring. So, no matter what the groundhog says in February, you’ll know winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” said the Almanac.
Contrasts NOAA Forecast
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), however, predicted a milder winter across much of the United States.
In the U.S. Winter Outlook for December through February, higher-than-normal temperatures are expected across the western and northern U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. It also said the El Niño will have a 70 percent to 75 percent chance of happening.
“We expect El Niño to be in place in late fall to early winter,” said Mike Halpert, who is the deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Although a weak El Niño is expected, it may still influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North.”