‘Keep a shovel at the ready’: The Old Farmer’s Almanac reveals 2023-24 winter outlook

DUBLIN, N.H. — The Old Farmer’s Almanac published its 2023-24 winter outlook this week, urging those who call the Northeast home to “keep a shovel at the ready.”

Based in Dublin, New Hampshire, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, not to be mistaken for the Farmer’s Almanac, touts itself as the “oldest almanac” in North America. The publication has been predicting long-range forecasts since 1792, with a self-proclaimed 80 percent accuracy.

This year, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a mild, but snowy winter.

“Keep a shovel at the ready early, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, where snow will arrive beginning in November with storms, showers, and flurries continuing through the start of spring,” the Almanac wrote. “Much of the U.S. coastline, from New England down to Florida across the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Southwest will experience mild to cool temperatures.”

The winter season in the Northeast will bring “above normal” precipitation and snowfall, according to the Almanac, with the snowiest stretches occurring in mid-to-late November, mid-December, and early to mid-January.

Don’t bank on a white Christmas, the Almanac cautioned.

“There will be a white Christmas in the mountains, but it’s less likely in the foothills and along I-95,” the Almanac wrote.

The rival Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a return of traditional cool temperatures and snowy weather conditions after last year’s warm winter.

When that publication shared its outlook in early August, Boston 25 Meteorologist Shiri Spear cautioned New Englanders that the Almanac’s prediction shouldn’t be read as “gospel.”

“Since we have far fewer tools to piece together a forecast months away, the public should understand that long-range forecasting is a challenging science. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center specializes in these long-range forecasts using special computer models, heavily based on large-scale and global weather patterns,” Spear said in a statement. “Smaller scale regional and local weather patterns, that also happen in a shorter time frame, are difficult to account for in the long-range forecasts and have a much bigger impact on how the season plays out day by day.”

Spear added, “The CPC’s forecast for December, January, and February three-month forecast (winter) calls for slightly warmer and wetter conditions compared to normal. It’s very helpful guidance that we refer to for a “heads up” but isn’t gospel.”

Winter officially begins on Dec. 21, 2023.

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