Please note: This is for the winter of 2010-2011.
Farmers’ Almanac’s U.S. Winter Outlook for 2011-12 can be found here »
The suspense is finally over. The 2011 Farmers’ Almanac is on shelves now, and our much-awaited long-range forecast for the coming year is no longer a secret. Last year, the Farmers’ Almanac predicted that February would bring widespread snowfall, including many blizzards. That prediction proved all too accurate, with snow blanketing states as far south as Florida and a beast of a storm — dubbed “Snowmageddon” by President Obama — shutting entire cities down throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
So what’s in store for the coming winter?
For the coming year, the Farmers’ Almanac predicts that Old Man Winter will exhibit a “split personality.” The eastern third of the country, (New England down to Florida and as far west as the lower Ohio River and Mississippi River Valley), will experience colder-than-normal winter temperatures. Across New England, where relatively balmy temperatures prevailed during the winter of 2009—2010, the upcoming winter will be the equivalent of a cold slap in the face, as we forecast much colder-than-normal temperatures.
Meanwhile, for the Western States, milder-than-normal winter temperatures are expected. They will spread from the Pacific Coast inland as far as the Rockies and the western Great Plains. Across the nation’s midsection, near-normal winter temperatures are anticipated.
In terms of precipitation, three storm tracks are expected to predominate during this upcoming winter season. One will be across the Gulf Coast and Southeast, delivering copious amounts of precipitation from lower Texas across the South (Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia) into the Mid-Atlantic region. A second storm track will be oriented across southwestern Canada into the Great Lakes, producing a procession of fast-moving “Alberta Clipper” systems that will bring snowier-than-normal conditions to parts of the Northern and Central Plains, and to the Ohio River and Great Lakes region. As these clipper systems move off the Atlantic Coast, colder-than normal conditions will move into much of the East. Disturbances sweeping in from the Pacific are expected to bring above-normal precipitation to parts of the Pacific Northwest.
All things considered, when comparisons to last year are made, we believe that for most, it will turn out to be a “kinder and gentler” winter overall.
For a more detailed forecast for your region, keep your eye on our long-range forecast.