When it comes to long-range weather forecasts, the folks at the Farmers’ Almanac don’t get it right every time, but they usually come pretty close. They’ve just released their forecast for the the winter of 2014–15 and it looks like three-quarters of the country will see below-normal temperatures.
For the eastern third of the country, they are predicting an active storm track with a number of storms delivering large amounts of snow and rain.
If you’re planning a Caribbean exit strategy, keep these hot spots in mind for particularly active storm activity, with big bouts of heavy precipitation and strong wind along the Atlantic Seaboard: the first 10 days of January and the first week of February. They are also red-flagging the middle of March for widespread and nasty wintry conditions from the nation’s midsection to the East Coast.
According to the 2015 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac, the coldest winter weather will be found from the Northern Plains into the Great Lakes, with temperatures that could drop to 40 below during the coldest outbreak: the final week of January into the beginning of February.
No region of the country will enjoy prolonged spells of above-normal temperatures, they say. Only near the East and West coasts will temperatures average close to normal.
The Central and Southern Plains are supposed to get above-average precipitation, according to the 2015 edition, and near-normal precipitation is predicted for the Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest, while below-normal precipitation values are forecast for the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest.
The wildcard in the 2015 forecast is a possible El Niño, a warming of the central Pacific that can have world-wide climate implications. Just as the Farmers’ Almanac was getting ready to announce their forecast, the National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration issued an official El Niño watch.If it happens, an El Niño could mean more rain for the South and drought-stricken California and a milder winter for the nation’s northern tier.
Stay tuned. “We’ll just have to wait and see,” according to the press release, “but in the meantime, all of us at the Farmers’ Almanac suggest you stock up on firewood, sweaters, and hot cocoa. It certainly looks like another long winter of shivery and shovelry is on tap.”
So enjoy these warm days of late August!