Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

September 21, 2013

Bad winter?

Speculation begins with the arrival of autumn

With the arrival of fall at 4:44 p.m. today it is natural to wonder what kind of winter weather lies ahead. It’s a popular guessing game that only Mother Nature can win.

The National Weather Service’s predictions are usually at odds with the various almanacs, and this year is no exception.

In its three-month outlook for November and December 2013 and January 2014, the weather service sees above average or much above average temperatures for much of the continental U.S. and “equal chances” for above normal temperatures in Mid-Atlantic states.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac in Dublin, N.H. sees Maryland as having a winter that will be colder and drier than normal, with the coldest periods in early or late December, early January and early February. Snowfall will be near normal in the northern U.S. and above normal in the South.

The Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack is calling for heavy snowstorms, including two December nor’easters. It predicts the first snow in our region could fall as early as Nov. 28 and snow could continue to hit the area up to the end of March. It predicts 15 heavy snow days.

The Farmer’s Almanac published out of Maine calls for plenty of snow or rain. It says, “... southern New England, Southeast New York, New Jersey, and down through the Mid-Atlantic region will be seeing either copious rains and/or snows.”

Accuweather forecasters see a colder than normal winter with normal precipitation.

It’s anyone’s guess which of the forecasts will prove to be most accurate. But it’s fun to speculate — and also comforting to know that there still should be ample mild weather in store before we have to drag out the boots and mittens.

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