Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow?


Zachary Pacenza, Copy Editor


Are New Jerseyans in for a winter wonderland this year?

Based on The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which has been predicting the weather for 230 years, NJ is expected to experience a “season of shivers” this winter and that all should anticipate “bone-chilling, below average temperatures across most of the United States.” Although this Almanac states it is 80% accurate in its weather predictions, meteorologists don’t heavily rely on weather forecasts issued numerous months beforehand. As we all know, the weather is a constantly changing aspect of our world in which predictions are just that, predictions.

Editors of The Old Farmer’s Almanac stated that they utilize “three scientific disciplines to make long-range predictions” which include: solar science, the study of solar activity and sunspots, climatology, the study of weather patterns and meteorology, the study of the atmosphere. By comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity, the meteorologists of The Old Farmer’s Almanac are able to predict weather trends and events. Another source that has speculated the weather this winter is the Farmers’ Almanac, which states that snowfall will be around the average amount coast to coast. Also, they claim that December will not be as snowpacked as last year but assert that “In January…the month will be
stormy, especially along the Atlantic Seaboard where an active storm track will lead to a stretch of precipitation in various forms: rain, snow, sleet and ice.”

Yet another informant of this supposed “winter wonderland” is the meteorologist who heads the NY-NJ-PA Weather Forecasting Company, Steven DiMartino. Similar to the outlook of the Farmers’Almanac, he says that most areas in NJ and eastern PA could end up with near-normal to above-normal amounts of snow throughout the 2021-2022 season. He further forecasts that the number of storms and how much snow will fall all depends on the interaction between the La Niña weather pattern, which tends to bring colder, snowier winters, how strong or weak the polar vortex becomes, a band of frigid air that normally circulates tightly around the North Pole and when weakened allows air to drift down into other regions of the world,
including the US, and how much atmospheric blocking is in place. There may as well be high possibility of winter mix events, especially in northern and central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania as a lot of cold air in the lower atmosphere will be offset by warmer air in the middle levels of the atmosphere. These fluctuations could lead to “significant transitioning to sleet and rain,” DeMartino added.”

Snow can be a rare sight, especially in these days of global warming, and with numerous sources differing in the forecast of this winter’s snowfall, the real question is: Which of these references will accurately predict NJ’s winter?