More Snow Than Usual This Winter on Long Island, Almanacs Predict

Snow plows on Sunrise Highway in East Islip in 2016. Long Island Press photo

By Patrick Kelton

Enjoy what’s left of beach season, because Long Island is forecast to see more snow than usual this winter, according to recently released long-term predictions by the nation’s two oldest farmers’ almanacs.

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The Maine-based Farmers’ Almanac, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary in print, wrote that the Northeast will be “ice cold and snow filled.” And its 225-year-old competitor, the New Hampshire-based Old Farmer’s Almanac, wrote that southeastern New York will be snowy, but with mild temperatures. Both publications released their annual editions this month.

“Get the snow blowers ready in the East,” the Farmer’s Almanac wrote. “An active storm track will deliver above-normal precipitation to the Southeast, Northeast and New England states throughout most of the winter, especially February.”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac agreed that precipitation will be above normal in the North, which it wrote “can expect to be blanketed in white.” It added that “winter will be colder in much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation.”

Some meteorologists don’t agree. The three-month outlook for December through February has an equal chance of above-average, normal or below-normal precipitation and temperatures, according to the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Climate Prediction Center. Accuweather, however, forecast that snowfall should be about normal in the East, and cautioned that New York could see “higher-than-normal totals this winter.”

The almanacs, which are both published annually ahead of the harvest season, also offer guides to gardening tips, recipes, fun facts and astronomical data. The two are but a few remaining from a bygone American era when almanacs were more commonly used for weather prognostication. An NPR analysis of the almanacs’ long-term forecasts found them to be about as reliable as a Groundhog Day prediction, although the publications stand by their accuracy.

The average amount of snow to fall on LI from October to April dating back to 1947 is 32.5 inches. The record for most snowfall in a single blizzard on the Island is 33.5 inches that fell in Medford during Winter Storm Nemo in February 2013.