When we announced our winter outlook in August 2007, it seemed we were out on a limb, all by ourselves. 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. Looking at the 2007—2008 winter summary compiled by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, our predictions certainly seem to have been verified.
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.
Here are a few 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.)
- For the Rockies, the Great Lakes and northern New England, our predictions were very accurate.
- Another example of last winter’s two-faced weather was in the Mid-Atlantic States.
Based on the actual weather conditions for last winter and comments from readers, we feel our “two-faced” winter outlook was very accurate overall. Our 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 our forecasts claim our accuracy rate is about 80—85%.
For more details on last year and this year’s weather, get the latest edition of the Farmers’ Almanac.
Lean how well we forecast the weather in Canada last year.