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National Weather Service's Winter Outlook Cites El Niño Factor: Here's What It Means For Us

The National Weather Service's outlook for the winter of 2018-19. Photo Credit: National Weather Service
A video detailing the National Weather Service's winter outlook.
A video detailing the National Weather Service's winter outlook. Video Credit: NOAAClimate
A look at the weather pattern for the winter according to Photo Credit:
The winter outlook by the Farmers' Almanac. Photo Credit: Farmers' Almanac
The winter weather outlook by the Old Farmer's Almanac. Photo Credit: Old Farmer's Almanac

We've heard from two farmers almanacs and AccuWeather.

Whose outlook for the winter do you believe?
Final Results Voting Closed

Whose outlook for the winter do you believe?

  • Farmers' Almanac (dire winter)
  • Old Farmer's Almanac, AccuWeather, National Weather Service (mild winter)
  • Somewhere in between

When it comes to predictions for the upcoming winter, the National Weather Service is now batting cleanup.

The weather service is in agreement with projections by AccuWeather and the Old Farmer's Almanac that the Northeast is likely to see a mild winter with the now likely emergence of El Niño.

El Niño is a large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

What does that mean for us?

“We expect El Nino to be in place in late fall to early winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Although a weak El Nino 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.”

Check the first image above for the probabilities and click here for the National Weather Service's outlook.

For a video outlook, click here.

The latest report is similar to the winter weather projection released by AccuWeather earlier this month. (See third image above.)

Two other long-range forecasts for the winter came out in September.

One was released by the Farmers' Almanac, the other by the more well-known Old Farmer's Almanac.

The Farmers' Almanac, which says it bases its prediction on a "mathematical and astronomical formula," is calling for a "cold & white" winter in the Northeast with above-average snowfall. (See fourth image above.)

The winter outlook by the Old Farmer's Almanac, in existence since 1792, calls for "warm, wet" weather with more rain and less snow in this region and above normal temperatures almost everywhere. (See winter image above.)

"Our milder-than-normal forecast is due to a decrease in solar activity and the expected arrival of a weak El Niño, which will prevent cold air masses from lingering in the North," the Old Farmer's Almanac says.

The Farmers' Almanac, by the way, is hardly a startup. It was established in 1818.

You can compare the winter forecasts below:

Do you think Jack Frost will be nipping at your nose this winter? Tell us which almanac's prediction you believe by voting in our poll and leaving a comment.


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