Winter Weather Outlook Accuracy Tracking 2016-2017


Winter Wearther Outlook 2016-2017 Map 2It is time to place your bets on what the winter weather outlook will be like for the 2016-2017 winter season.  We will be looking at several popular weather forecasters, writing down what they say winter will be like, and tracking to see how accurately they forecast.

We are going to keep this post updated over the next few months while we check in to see how accurate the major players will be.  In the running this year is NOAA, The Weather Channel, Accuweather, The Old Farmers’ Almanac, and our own in-house forecasters.

How accurate do you think they will be?  Though most meteorologists make fun of The Old Farmers’ Almanac, the publication self-boasts of an 80% accuracy rate even though they have to commit to their forecasts months before the first copy of the Almanac is sold at the end of August.  Indeed, the old Almanac was highly accurate for the 2014-2015 season…but then again their forecast fell very short last season…very, very short.

NOAA has had a lot of criticism over the last few years, but they were closer to the mark last winter season in their long range forecast (warmer than average temperatures in the northern states, below average in southern states, dry in much of the US, but wetter than normal in the south and eastern coastal states and California).

Last year, The Weather Channel, Accuweather, and Snow Plow News had early winter predictions similar to the NOAA.  Will they all be similar again this year and more importantly, will they be right?  I can hear my pessimistic friend now whom often said, “no other career can you be wrong 50% of the time and still have job.”

All joking aside, we want to know what winter is going to be like this year to be ready for the snow.  So far, one of our own forecasters has “absolutely guaranteed” there will definitely be more snow than last season (then he added because last year was so dry, so he did really feel like he was going out on a limb).

So here are the 2016-2017 Winter Forecast Predictions for the Northeast and Midwest from some of the bigger players.

NOAA 2016-2017 Winter Weather Outlook

The NOAA winter forecast for Dec 2016 – Feb 2017 calls for colder temperatures than normal only for Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Montana.  The NOAA is also calling for more precipitation than average in the Midwest, especially Michigan.

Winter Wearther Outlook 2016-2017 Map 2Winter Wearther Outlook 2016-2017 Map 1

The Old Farmers’ Almanac 2016-2017 Winter Weather Outlook

The Old Farmers’ Almanac winter forecast calls for a mild and dry winter for much of the US with colder than average temperatures only in the far northern portions of the US.  Extra precipitation is called for in every state that touches the US/Canada border, the other New England states plus northern Illinois and Indiana, mostly falling in December.  (For reference, we grabbed their forecast from pages 112-113 on the US online version of the Almanac)

The Weather Channel 2016-2017 Winter Weather Outlook

As of this writing we are still waiting for The Weather Channel to release their winter outlook.

Accuweather 2016-2017 Winter Weather Outlook

One of the earliest to release an expected forecast (June 26, 2016), Accuweather expects an early start to the winter season anticipating cold and dry for most of the US with heavy snows only in a small area in western New York, northwestern Pennsylvania, and northeastern Ohio near the Great Lakes.

Winter Wearther Outlook 2016-2017 Map 3

Snow Plow News 2016-2017 Winter Weather Outlook

Not to be outdone, our team is also expecting slightly higher than normal snow falls in the northern states with temperatures a little under average.  The closer to the Canadian border you are, the more likely you are to get more snow and the Ohio River Valley should get a little more than normal snow as well.

August Summary of the 2016-2017 Winter Weather Outlook

With uncertainty about what will happen in the South, it appears people are placing their bets on slightly higher than normal snow falls in the northern states, slightly colder than average temperatures in the northern states, and an early start to the winter.

Be sure to check back every few weeks as we will note how accurate our forecasting friends have been.  Would you like to add to the conversation?  Hop on over to our Facebook page and share your thoughts.