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Almanac predicts a long, wet winter

By CHIP GUY
The News Journal
09/07/2004


Predicting the weather three, four or five days out, not to mention as many months from now, is often tricky: rooted in science, but steeped in guesswork.

That doesn't stop weather experts and aficionados from trying.

Just look at the popularity of perennial prognostication publications such as the Farmers' Almanac. Every year around this time, more than 4 million copies of the 186-year-old almanac go on sale nationwide, offering readers a glimpse at the country's future weather.

So what do the coming fall and winter months have in store for Delaware and the Northeast?

Pull out the sweaters, strap on the boots and sharpen those snow shovels.

The weather wizards at the Farmers' Almanac are calling for a chilly fall and an early arrival of winter weather in late November. And two snowstorms, at least one of them a blizzard, could bookend the winter calendar, in late December and again in mid-February.


Whether they actually come to pass, we'll just have to wait to see.

"We see a winter of extremes," said Sandi Duncan, managing editor of the publication. "We do think up and down the Eastern Seaboard there is going to be a lot of precipitation. But depending on the temperatures, it could result in a lot of snow and rain, or ice."

And you thought this summer was lousy?

"It's fun to know that it might be a snowy winter," said Allison Periconi, who was spending Labor Day weekend at Rehoboth Beach with her husband, Steve.

"We're snow lovers, so we hope it's right," Steve said.

The reasons they love it have a lot to do with their jobs, they said. Steve is a lawyer, and when it snows, the courthouse closes. Allison teaches in Easton, Md., and when it snows, schools close.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent organization of the National Weather Service, are taking a less detailed approach to their forecast. And it's a little more optimistic.

That is, unless you're snow lovers like the Periconis.

The next 30 to 90 days look to be about normal when it comes to precipitation and temperatures, according to NOAA.

"There won't be any winter. No, I'm just kidding," said Mike Gorse, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Gorse said long-range forecasting often depends on past climatology and weather data to guide predictions. But trying to pinpoint what kind of specific conditions will occur at a specific time is little more than throwing darts.

"Really, beyond five days, there are just so many variables," Gorse said. "That's basically why our forecasts only go out that far.

"So much can change that I guess the confidence beyond that is not that high," he said.

Still, it's always fun to wonder what the future holds.

"I find the almanac predictions very interesting, but I don't have much faith in them," said Joan Chandler of Wilmington. "But it's been a fairly wet year, and nothing will surprise me."

Duncan admits her publication does go out on a limb when it comes to "seeing" the weather future. But she said the publication has an 80 percent accuracy rate, and cited on-the-mark calls for last winter's extreme cold in the Northeast and this summer's chillier, wetter conditions.

"Ours may not involve satellites and computer tracking," Duncan said of her publication's forecasting methods, which are a tightly held secret. They apparently involve some mathematical formula factoring in tides, lunar cycles, sunspots and the positions of the planets.

"But I don't know anyone yet who can do 100 percent forecasting when it comes to the weather."

Staff reporter Victor Greto contributed to this article. Contact Chip Guy at 856-7373 or [email protected].
 

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NO NO NO!!! SAY NO TO EARLY WINTERS!

NS - I READ ON A CAPE COD SITE THE BASS ARE STARTING TO ACT LIKE THEY DO BEFORE THEY EXIT.

IF IT GETS COLD TOO FAST THEY MAY STAY OFFSHORE AND HEAD SOUTH QUICKLY :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally posted by Brian E. Mullaney:


IF IT GETS COLD TOO FAST THEY MAY STAY OFFSHORE AND HEAD SOUTH QUICKLY :(
Brian,
Yep, I seen it happen many times.....
Let's Hope These Farmer's :D Are Dead Wrong.
Or We May Not Care If They Close The Striped
Bass Season Down Here in New Jersey....
 

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Indian River is looking real good this year :D !!!

Heading out for some Reds and Snook tonight ;) .
Met up with a guide the other day, looks like the species du jour are snook, reds, trout, flounder, ladyfish, sheepshead, cobia, pompano and jacks. I will post some pics soon to warm yooz guys up :D
 
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