As predicted, the hurricane season proved to be historically severe. The peak, typically falling in late August through September, has passed, and the unseasonably warm fall is beginning to give way to colder temperatures. Which means winter and all the nasty weather that comes with it is right around the corner. Or is it?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, this winter is slated to be considerably milder than years past in the U.S. The forecast predicts that the temperatures won’t be quite as warm as last winter’s, which registered as one of the top 10 warmest ever, but it will still be a bit cozier than the mean.
However, this more temperate prediction isn’t across the board. NOAA predicts that approximately two-thirds of the United States is likely to experience the warmer conditions, while the remainder is likely to experience regular, or even slightly colder temperatures. The map below breaks down all the temperature predictions.
For many states to the south, there’s a solid likelihood of a drier winter than usual. For folks in the Midwest and around the Rockies, it’s best to keep your rain jacket and wellies on standby, because the forecast is pointing to a wet winter.
How reliable has the NOAA forecast been in the past? Last year, generally speaking, they were mostly on the nose, according to CNN:
“Most of the US would likely give forecasters a B+ rating on their 2016-2017 temperature outlook… Then there was the precipitation outlook… If we stay with the grade-school analogy, forecasters still passed, but their predictions were just slightly better than flipping a coin.”
So, use this more as a set of guidelines, less a set of rules to live by. Take that grain of salt, rock salt specifically, so you don’t get caught in the lurch if Mother Nature decides to buck the predicted trend. And hey, if the snow suddenly starts to pile on out of nowhere, you have every excuse to build a snow fort, using these five easy steps, of course.