Predicting the winter weather in the Northeast is always a challenge. The region is unfortunate enough to see consistent ice and rain during the winter, which leads to inconsistent conditions. With La Niña expected to make its return for the third consecutive ski season, weather forecasters have been giving their predictions as to what will happen this coming winter.
Powderchasers: Our go-to weather forecasters here at Unofficial Networks are the folks over at Powederchasers. The winter forecast from them, which you can view here, predicted an above-average winter for the Northwestern U.S., with a slightly below-average for the East Coast. They did point out that Appalachia, which includes the ski resorts of West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, are due for a wet winter.
Chris Tomer: A few weeks ago, meteorologist Chris Tomer, who’s one of the most reliable voices for ski weather, gave his winter 2022-23 forecast. He believes that La Niña will be in effect for the first portion of the winter, and then tamper off in the following months. Northern New England will see above-average snowfall, while the rest of New England will get average precipitation. You can watch his full forecast breakdown here.
NOAA: On September 15th, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave the following descriptions for the East Coast during November, December, and January: warmer than normal average temperatures, and equal chances of precipitation for most of the Northeast.
According to Open Snow, an equal chance of precipitation means the odds of having above, below, or equal chances of the wet stuff is around the same percentage. The above-equal chance for higher-than-normal temperatures is that this is the most likely scenario.
Accuweather: The website is predicting an excellent winter for Northern New England and New York, a good winter for southern New England, and a poor winter for Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the Carolinas.
The reliability of Accuweather ski forecasts in the past has been questionable though. Last year, they predicted most of New England would have an excellent ski forecast. That did not turn out to be true though, as it was an average winter at best, and then a dry spring.
Farmer’s Almanac: Now we enter the non-meteorologist portion of the article. The Farmers Almanac, based in Lewiston, Maine, predicts a freezing winter for the East Coast. December will be cold, and then January becomes excessively chilly with temperatures in some areas reaching as low as forty degrees below zero. They also expect a major snowstorm to hit the East Coast between January 16th-23rd.
Old Farmers Alamac: It turns out they are two of these things, with the Old Farmer’s Almanac being based in Dublin, New Hampshire. They describe their winter forecast as a tale of two winters: milder on the West Coast, and colder on the East Coast.
For most of the Northeast, the Old Farmer’s Almanac expects weather to be cold and snowy. The eastern portion of Maine is projected to see mild and wet weather, meaning likely more rain than snow. In terms of temperature, it will be above normal in Northern New England, and below normal in Southern New England, the Northeast, and in Appalachia. They expect above-normal precipitation throughout the Northeast.
Should you trust Almanacs? Probably not, as a USA Today article from 2015 found neither publication to be accurate winter forecasters. Additionally, OpenSnow said that they have “no track record of accuracy.” So take these two forecasts with caution.
Conclusion: In short, it sounds like warmer temperatures and normal to above-average precipitation will be on the forecast this winter in the Northeast. Based on my experiences on the East Coast, be ready for anything. East Coast skiing brings a whole bunch of random weather: Rain, snow, sleet, ice, freezing temps, etc. In spite of this, it won’t stop dedicated Northeast skiers from getting after it this winter. I’m just hoping we have a winter that resembles 2010-11 or 2014-15.