MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN)- The new Farmer’s Almanac forecast for the winter predicts cold temperatures and stormy conditions in the Miami Valley, but does it add up with the science?
Last year, the Miami Valley experienced a La Niña in the winter. La Niña is when trade winds increase off of South America, pushing warmer water further west, and cooler weather to the shore of South America.
This upcoming winter is expected to be an El Niño winter (90% confidence), which is when those trade winds weaken, and warm water flows back east, marking a shift in the cycle.
“We see warming sea surface temperatures as a result of that, which is the main indicator that we look for when we’re talking about El Niño,” said National Weather Service Northern Indiana meteorologist Kyle Brown.
Why does a change in winds thousands of miles away impact winter weather in the Miami Valley?
“That then allows areas of high pressure and low pressure to form in different locations and at different intensities as well,” said Brown. “And so therefore, we’re going to see the jet stream respond to that as well.”
As the jet stream responds by flowing around the low pressure that would be setup in the Northern Pacific. The result would be a setup in the winter with the polar jet stream to the north of Ohio, which would lead to milder and drier weather in the winter.
That does not mean we will not see snow at all.
As for the almanac, they have used the same mathematical and astronomical formula since 1818, and have been found to be correct around 50% of the time.