We've come to that point in the year where the weather only goes down from here.

But how bad Ocean County's winter will be remains to be seen, and expectations from here will depend on who you prefer to go with - the closely guarded formula steeped in tradition and secrecy from the folks at The Old Farmer's Almanac, or the government scientists over at NOAA?

As you may remember from a few months ago (yes, the Almanac folks like to make their predictions early), the mystics at the 200 year old publication were calling for wetter but warmer than usual conditions for our upcoming winter.

The NOAA Winter Outlook that came out today seems to be in agreement about the "warmer than usual" part, giving us here in New Jersey a 33% chance of having unseasonably mild temperatures.

Map courtesy of NOAA

Precipitation, on the other hand, looks like it's a tossup for us right now. You'll notice on the map below that we fall into the narrowest of corridors right in between "wetter" and "drier".

Map courtesy of NOAA

So, what's the takeaway from all of this?

Honestly, from my perspective it looks like a bit of a crap shoot (as long term weather forecasting always is).

I'm someone who doesn't particularly enjoy snow, so I welcome the "warmer than usual" possibility. But who likes cold rain? And putting us right in the "equal chance" corridor doesn't really give us an idea of if we need to stock up on rock salt or not.

We'll see who comes out ahead - the soothsayers over at The Old Farmer's Almanac, the eggheads over at NOAA, or none of the above.

(Before anyone says anything, I love science. I went to science camp after all. I say "eggheads" with the utmost respect and admiration!).

 

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