Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Winter Is Coming

Posted on Wed, Nov 05, 2008 @ 01:23 PM

WINTER FORECASTS
How accurate were they?

Some winters can be tougher than the NFL football season!

Last year, Long Island had a relatively mild winter and readings from LI Mac-Arthur Airport related to the Winter of 2007-2008 indicated:

Mean temperature: 34.2 degrees vs. normal temperature based on 30-year average: 33.7 degrees.


Last year’s overall predictions for winter of ’07-’08:

  • National Weather Service: Above average temperatures for most of the U.S.
  • AccuWeather Inc.: Marginally warmer than normal
  • WSI Inc.: Warmer than usual
  • Weather 2000 Inc.: Slightly cooler than 10-year average, warmer than 30-year average
  • The Farmers Almanac: “Two-faced winter” for the nation, with extremes of warm and dry, and cold and wet, varying by region
  • The Old Farmers Almanac: Warmer than normal, but slightly colder than winter of ‘06-‘07

Could this winter's weather add to our economic woes on Long Island?
As homeowners across the country pray for a mild winter to offset rising energy costs, the world-famous Farmers’ Almanac is warning us to prepare for the worst. “Numb’s the word!” is how the 192-year-old publication is predicting the upcoming winter season. For 2008–2009, the Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting a “numbing” winter, with below-average temperatures for at least two-thirds of the country. Only the Far West and Southeast will see near-normal temperatures. Few, if any, locations will enjoy many above-normal temperature days this upcoming season.

Snow?
Precipitation-wise, most of the South, as well as the Midwest, should experience above-normal conditions, while the rest of the nation will average close to normal. With below-normal winter temperatures and an above-normal precipitation forecast, the Great Lakes and Midwest will see above-normal snowfalls, especially during January and February. Above-normal precipitation is forecast for the Southwest during December 2008 and for the Southeast in January and February 2009. It should also turn out to be an unusually wet and/or snowy February across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

The other long-range forecasts for the impending winter season were predicting mostly above-normal temperatures nationwide, with no prolonged spells of cold weather, and limited precipitation.

The Farmers’ Almanac, in contrast, predicted that it would be a "two-faced" winter, with warm and dry extremes balancing extremes of cold and wet. For those of you who live in the Midwest, northern New England, and parts of the West, last winter was anything but mild and warm. Snowfall records were broken, and winter seemed as if it would never end.

Highlights from last winter:

  • The average temperature across the contiguous U.S. during the climatological winter (December 2007–February 2008) was the coolest since 2001.
  • Above-average winter precipitation was the norm for the Midwest and parts of the West.
  • Snowfall was also above normal in northern New England, where some locations posted all-time record winter snow totals. (Find out which towns broke records).

Long-range weather predictions are created almost two years in advance and are based on a formula that has proven to be dependable. People who follow the forecasts claim the accuracy rate is about 80–85%.

For more details on last year and this year's weather, get the 2009 Farmers' Almanac.

Check out other major weather events accurately predicted by the Farmers’ Almanac

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