One Farmer’s Almanac Says Wild Winter for NJ, But… Waitaminute
Is New Jersey in for an overall milder winter than usual, or a wild ride of plummeting temps and warm stretches? It depends on which almanac you pick up.
The Old Farmer's Almanac has released its long range weather forecast through the winter of 2019-2020.
For the bulk of NJ, in the Atlantic Corridor area, it says "Winter temperatures will be much above normal, on average, with the coldest periods in mid- and late January and early and late February."
The Old Farmer's Almanac also says for most of Jersey's regions this winter, "Precipitation will be above normal, with below-normal snowfall. The snowiest periods will occur in mid- and late January and early February.
Meanwhile, the very similarly named Farmer's Almanac also released its long-range forecast for the next 12 months, dubbing the winter ahead a 2020 "Polar Coaster" that will be filled with many ups and downs on the thermometer.
The 2020 Farmers’ Almanac "suggests a suspenseful start to January over the eastern half of the country. This may mean frequent free-falling precipitation as well as strong and gusty winds."
But, New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist, Dan Zarrow says don't count on that ride leaving the station just yet. "The long-range weather forecasts contained in the Old Farmer's Almanac are total baloney. They even admit that their forecasts are based on a 'secret formula' that is over 200 years old. Without knowledge of these mysterious methods, no one can examine and critique their methodology."
Zarrow also points out that for both publications, "Seasonal forecasting is dubious at best, and we're usually limited to broad descriptions like 'warmer than normal' or 'wetter than normal.' To break down the weather so specifically over a year in advance as the OFM does? Literally impossible, given the current state of the science and technology of meteorology."
NJ 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow does not issue an annual "winter season" forecast, as he says "it's not my specialty, and both accuracy and precision would be low."
However, he will start to look at "climatological clues in October and November" to try to piece together what New Jersey's winter might look like.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac was first published in 1792 and currently is based in Dublin, New Hampshire.
The Farmer’s Almanac debuted in 1818 and now is headquartered in Lewiston, Maine.