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Farmers’ Almanac predicts a frigid blast

Get out your snow shovels, and have those mittens and boots handy.

After a sweltering and dry summer, the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting this winter will be frigid and snowy.

AccuWeather meteorologists, however, are putting their own long-range forecast together, and aren’t yet convinced that a long, cold winter will play out.

“What we are coming up with at this point, is that it may be a little warmer than what the Farmers’ Almanac is saying,” said Paul Pastelok, senior meteorologist and lead U.S. long range forecaster for AccuWeather.

The Farmers’ Almanac has provided extended forecasts since 1818, and typically projects out further than both AccuWeather and the National Weather Service.

The periodical’s latest edition calls for “shivery” temperatures in the southeast and south central states.

“But the real shivers might send people in the Great Lakes areas, Northeast, and North Central regions hibernating,” it said.

The almanac predicts that the first touches of winter should come earlier than they did last year.

“December 2022 looks stormy and cold nationwide, with an active storm pattern developing and hanging around for most of the season over the eastern half of the country. (Maybe there will be a white Christmas in some areas?),” according to the almanac.

AccuWeather meteorologists expect to release their findings on Sept. 28. Pastelok said a number of factors are being considered.

For one, it is a La Nina year, with cooler surface temperatures in the central Pacific. On the flip side, water temperatures along the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean and in parts of the northern Pacific are warmer than usual.

“The combination of those things can have a major impact on our forecast,” he said.

Pastelok said meteorologists are seeing some likenesses between this year and 2011 and 2013. The 2011-12 winter season was mild, but the 2013-14 season was cold and snowy.

The National Weather Service will release its winter outlook during the third week of October, said Jasmine Blackwell, a NOAA spokeswoman.

“Seasonal outlooks are more accurate and reliable the closer we get to the start of a given season,” she said.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center provides outlooks up to three months out. The most recent was posted on Aug. 18, and includes information for November, December and January.

The seasonal temperature outlook shows most of Pennsylvania has a 33-40 percent chance of seeing above-normal temperatures. The seasonal precipitation outlook shows all of Pennsylvania has equal chances of above-normal or below-normal precipitation.

AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines believes that temperatures in September, October and November will average a degree or two above normal.

“Rainfall-wise, we will be near normal, but it’s not out of the question that it could be above normal,” he said.

Kines added that the rainfall most of the region received that Monday into Tuesday accounted for approximately 40 percent of what usually falls in September.