Almanac says winter colder, NWS says warmer

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

The latest version of the farmers almanac is predicting cold and wet times are ahead this winter, but the national weather service is telling a different story.

For farmers like Harry Talbott, his business and livelihood depends on the weather. "I'm kind of paranoid when it comes to the weather," says Talbott. Like most in his business, he tries to stay one step ahead by keeping up to date with all the weather predictions, including the farmers almanac.

The Farmers Almanac has been predicting long term forecasts since 1818 and believes they have the secret formula for success. They are predicting this winter weather season to be colder and wetter than normal, but this goes against what most meteorologists are predicting.
"The National Weather Service is predicting warmer than normal for the west for this fall through the winter," says Chris Cuoco, senior forecaster for the NWS.

The NWS uses more up to date technology when they do their forecasting and says there is one determining factor that has swayed their decision to go with a warmer outlook. "A moderate El Nino is forming now and we expect it to continue to strengthen," says Cuoco. While El Nino conditions usually mean warmer temperatures, the amount of snow we could see may not be affected. "The signal is not as strong as it is for temperatures," says Cuoco. Which leads the climate prediction center to a different overall winter forecast. "Above normal temperatures and normal precipitation," says Cuoco.

While the NWS and the latest version of the Farmers Almanac predict different scenarios for this winter, they do agree on one thing. "We do agree that next year looks like warmer than normal temperatures for much of the year," says Cuoco. For Harry Talbott, "my feelings are to go with the NWS." Either way he's taking notes, "I think I'll pay attention to it this year and see, then we'll talk in the spring and see what we found.

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