The winter weather forecast for 2016-2017 includes above-average snowfall, frequent storms, and bitter cold over a large portion of the United States. Meteorologists are also predicting a long winter, with adverse weather patterns extending through spring 2017.
Although winter does not officially begin until December 21, several forecasters have already published their 2016-2017 winter weather predictions.
Some sources, including The Old Farmer’s Almanac, have suggested the upcoming season will be generally mild. However, the most recent long-term forecasts are somewhat more foreboding.
— NJ Weather Blogs (@NJWeatherBlogs) September 29, 2016
In August, The Old Farmer’s Almanac published its long-range winter forecast for the United States. According to the forecasters’ “secret formula,” which reportedly includes a combination of climatology, meteorology, and solar science, winter 2016-2017 will be “colder than last winter but still above normal.”
Overall, The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a majority of the United States will experience a mild and dry winter. Although the forecasters expect below-average snowfall for a majority the country, the “northern tier” is expected to see a moderate amount of snow this winter.
According to the official website, the Old Farmer’s Almanac boasts an 80 percent average rate of accuracy. However, the forecasters remind readers that the predictions, which “are made well in advance,” are only “meant to give readers a general sense” of how the upcoming season will compare to the previous winter.
Two months after The Old Farmer’s Almanac published its predictions, AccuWeather released their own winter weather forecast.
— Mike Bettes (@mikebettes) September 22, 2016
Although the Old Farmers’ Almanac and AccuWeather winter weather forecasts are similar, the latter is clearly more ominous.
Long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok predicts the Northeastern United States will “see more than a few, maybe several,” significant storm systems during the 2016-2017 winter season. As a result of the expected winter storms, Pastelok suggests Coastal Connecticut and southern New England will see “a fair amount of snow” this season. He also predicts the winter weather “will last into the early or middle part of spring.”
The Accuweather forecaster said the Southeastern United States will continue to experience mild temperatures through December into early January. Unfortunately, he expects a “damaging freeze” in mid to late January — which could cause severe damage to citrus crops in central Florida.
Pastelok said portions of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, are all at risk of severe weather after the first of the year.
The long-term forecaster said the Midwest and Northern Plains will experience periods of bitter cold during the upcoming season. As compared to last winter, those regions are expected to be between six and nine degrees colder overall. Some states, including Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, may experience temperatures “down to 20 or 30 below.”
As compared to last winter, those regions are expected to be between six and nine degrees colder overall. Some states, including Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, may experience temperatures “down to 20 or 30 below.”
In the Midwestern states, the cooler temperatures are expected to arrive in late November or early December. The cool air, combined with the comparatively warm water temperatures, could cause early lake-effect snow around the Great Lakes. According to Pastelok, “the lake-effect season is expected to last “all the way out to January.”
The Gulf Coast and Southern Plains will experience mild weather through the mid-December. However, the winter weather, which may include cool air and “a few disruptive ice events,” is expected to begin in late December.
As the winter weather is not expected to begin until mid-November, it is difficult to predict how the season will progress. However, forecasters are beginning to publish their 2016-2017 winter weather predictions based on historical data and expected weather patterns.
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