People who follow the Farmers’ Almanac’s weather predictions say they’re about 80-85% accurate (keep in mind, we make our predictions almost two-years in advance!). But how did we do last year?
Shivery is not dead!
Our long-range projection for the winter of 2006-2007 was for widespread cold from coast to coast. Our forecast was made before an El Niño reared its head. This El Niño was beneficial because it significantly suppress tropical storm and hurricane activity in the North Atlantic during the summer of 2006. But it was also harmful. This warming disrupted the normal flow of weather systems across North America, both in the short and the long term.
We strongly believed that cold and snowy conditions were going to make a comeback nationwide in the winter of 2006-2007. However, up until mid-January, it was only the western half of the country that Old Man Winter seemed to be controlling.
A major winter storm swept through the Southern Great Plains to the Great Lakes, from November 29 through December 1, bringing widespread ice and snow and causing major power outages. Over a foot of snow was reported from southeast Kansas to western Illinois. And only a few days prior to this snowstorm, heavy snowfall had blanketed areas of the Pacific Northwest. Up to two feet of new snow fell in the Cascades of Washington and Oregon.
The big weather story was the pre-Christmas blizzard, which primarily affected the front range of the Colorado Rockies on December 20-21, 2006. For the month, Denver received 29.4 inches of snowfall: the 3rd snowiest December on record (1882-2006). But back in the East, people were experiencing no winter at all! This gave many a false sense that winter as a whole would turn out to be exceptionally mild.
But winter was only 12 days old and our predictions forewarned that the worst was yet to come. And sure enough, that’s exactly what happened! A complex, wide-reaching winter storm moved from the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Mid-Atlantic and New England on February 14. And only a month later, during March 15-18, winter storm affected the region from West Virginia to Maine, with a swath of heavy snow and ice.
Summer: No rain, no gain.
This summer the Farmers’ Almanac had forewarned of hot dry conditions that may lead to drought conditions in the southeast as well as above normal rainfall in Texas. Right on target there!
So what’s in store for this winter …stay tuned — check our site out next week for more details.