9:30 PM CDT | August 28, 2018
It's that time of year again! Both the Old Farmers' Almanac and the Farmers' Almanac have issued their winter forecasts. The Old Farmers' Almanac is citing a decrease in solar activity and a weak El Nino as the reasons for their mild winter. They believe that cold air will have trouble making it into the United States this winter. This is their winter outlook, as seen on their website.
The Farmers' Almanac, however, is predicting a bitter winter for much of the United States. For our region, they believe we are likely to see "Stinging Cold, Average Precipitation." They also state on their website that they think winter will hang on - particularly in the Eastern United States. You can view their forecast below.
The forecast methods from both sources are not well-documented or discussed. Many, including myself, find their predictions a bit "hit and miss". What is pretty clear is that one of these is likely to be VERY wrong this winter, but it is still fun to read nonetheless. What is Texas Storm Watch seeing for this winter? Take a look at the article from August 17th.
At least a weak El Nino is still expected to develop this fall. Some of the model guidance even shows a moderate El Nino. While El Nino's and La Nina's have a big influence on our weather pattern, there are other pieces to the puzzle. We will see these other pieces come together in the upcoming weeks.
One of my favorite things to do is to compare what we are seeing to similar years in the past. In the above article, I drew similarities to a few past winters that featured an El Nino following a La Nina. One of these winters was 2009-10 - one of my all-time favorites. Just for kicks, I looked at what we saw temperature-wise that August and compared it to what we have seen thus far. It was pretty amazing... The first graphic shows this month's temperature anomalies through August 27th. The second graphic shows the temperature anomalies for August 2009.
There was a pocket of cooler air over the heart of the United States in August, similar to this year. Yes, it is hard to believe that parts of the state are actually a bit below normal this month. In terms of anomalies, May, June, and July were more extreme for Texas. In 2009, the heat finally broke in Texas during September. Temperatures were normal across South Central Texas, and they were anywhere from 1*F to 3*F below normal elsewhere. The state also saw normal to above-normal rainfall as well. Will history repeat itself next month? We will have to wait and see. I will continue to analyze the latest trends for fall and winter. Check back for the latest weather updates!
**As discussed earlier this month, the blog will become the main source for weather updates beginning next month. The Facebook page will remain visible but will not be regularly updated beginning in September. This is due to changes Facebook has made to their algorithm which have made it increasingly difficult for these weather updates to reach people. If Facebook decides to make their platform and newsfeeds more friendly toward non-profit pages in the future, regular updating of the Facebook page may resume.**