Much of the United States experienced one helluva winter this year. Things kicked off in late 2022, but the early season storms weren’t what made the season so historic in places like the Sierra and Cascades. It was a handful of intense storms that brought a late surge we’re still seeing the impacts of. Mammoth Mountain just ended its 2022-2023 season a few weeks ago, for example. While the Old Farmer’s Almanac isn’t predicting a repeat of that record winter, its new 2023-2024 Winter Forecast is telling us to get ready for another “winter wonderland” across the States.
In short, the Almanac, which reportedly has an 80 percent accuracy rate forecasting winters since 1791, is predicting above-normal snow and normal to colder-than-normal temperatures in North America. With the exception of the Pacific Northwest, they say, snowfall will again be heavier than normal throughout the U.S. and the Northeast and Midwest should expect things to kick off in November with “storms, showers, and flurries” that take us through the spring. Meanwhile, the Deep South, Texas, and California can look forward to levels of rain that can offer some relief from existing drought conditions. Along the East Coast and even into the Pacific Southwest, this winter should bring “mild to cool” temperatures.
Driving all of this will be a combination of this year’s strong El Niño over the Pacific Ocean and Solar Cycle 25, the current solar cycle. While El Niños typically drive wetter than average winters in places like California and along the Gulf Coast with drier conditions in the PNW, the Almanac points out that Solar Cycle 25, which began in 2020, is driving cooler than average temperatures across the globe.