It’s very warm across much of the country. For many it still feels like the middle of summer. Some of us are thinking more about the swimming pool than skiing, snow plows and the polar vortex. It’s never too early to talk winter weather though. Am I right? Okay maybe that isn’t a widely shared opinion when it comes to personal thoughts. But in the weather and snow removal world it’s certainly not that early.
In the world of seasonal forecasting the Old Farmers Almanac and the Farmers Almanac are looking months ahead. These storied publications released their outlooks for winter 2021-2022 across the United States. This article and the corresponding video discusses their prognostications, how they come up with their forecasts and the Neoweather preliminary winter outlook.
The OG of the almanac rivalry brings in the cold. Brrrrrr according to almanac.com “A season of shivers is predicted for the US.” The super cold prediction could be one of the worst in several years. Widespread nippy conditions and some above snow areas are a common sight.
The new guy on the block still goes all the way back to the early 1800s. It’s also on board with an overall cold winter for many. The bigger difference is it believes the polar plunges will come in waves and not be as sustained. More average conditions will happen out West. This publication takes it one step further than just looking at seasonal trends. It suggests a couple major storm threats from the Ohio Valley to the Northeast. It even tosses out blizzard potential. You can read their article here.
SHOULD WE TRUST THESE FORECASTS?
Last year we addressed some of the accuracy with seasonal almanac predictions. The more detailed they try to get the less accurate the result. When it comes to general precipitation and temperatures compared to average they are right around a flip of a coin at close to 50%. Yes, that means some years you can get good information and other years not so much. Or part of the forecast is good on a given year while other parts are not. You can learn more about how these seasonal outlooks are put together here.
DO WE AGREE WITH THE ALMANACS FOR WINTER 21-22?
Overall they might be onto something this year. It’s only September, but the atmospheric setup is telling us that more cold is indeed possible this winter. Based on where the Ocean water and pressure tendencies are now and where they are modeled to be in the months to come we can get an idea on where ridges and troughs will develop (generally speaking) for winter. This gives us an idea on moisture transport, jet stream location and where cold or warm patterns are likely. We know existing areas of drought and high pressure will play a role in keeping those areas pretty dry and warm.
We believe cold air will dump in at times from Montana to the Ohio Valley and occasionally mid Atlantic. Warmth is likely across much of the South, but a few brief potent cold spells are possible. Yes we know this sounds like every winter, but we are talking compared to average. So, if a city averages 35 degrees during the winter and this winter is 30 degrees that is very cold.
Stay tuned for more winter predictions as we get closer to the snow flying.
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