Winter Predictions for Coming Heating Season

For the United States, The Old Farmer’s Almanac for winter 2020-2021 predicts that recent warming trends will dominate in the eastern and northern parts of the U.S. in the coming months, with below-normal average temperatures limited to the western portion of the nation. Most of Canada will have a cold and snowy winter. Rising temperature trends may mean that the winter will not bring extreme cold, but instead, it will be closer to normal.

The Almanac is predicting a light winter for most of the United States, with warmer-than-normal temperatures in the forecast for a large part of the country. Uncommonly cool temperatures will be limited mostly to the western states and northeastern New England, with temperatures colder than normal in Maine; the Intermountain, Desert Southwest, and Pacific Southwest regions; and eastern Hawaii. Elsewhere is forecast as above normal.

As far as precipitation, “wet” is expected to be a wintertime constant, with rain or average to below-average snowfall to be the standard throughout most of the country. Specifically, precipitation will be below normal from Delmarva into North Carolina; in the southern Appalachians, Georgia, and Florida from the Ohio Valley westward to the Pacific and southward to the Gulf and Mexico; and in western Hawaii. The rest of the nation will be above or near normal elsewhere.

Snowfall is anticipated to be greater than normal in the Northeast, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, the High Plains, and northern Alaska, and below normal in most other areas that receive snow.

Also noted: We are currently transitioning from Solar Cycle 24 to Solar Cycle 25. Cycle 24 was the smallest in more than 100 years and possibly the smallest since the Dalton Minimum in the early 1800s, while Cycle 25 is expected to also bring very low solar activity.

Although low levels of solar activity have historically been associated with cooler temperatures, on average, across Earth, the Almanac believes that rising temperature trends mean that the winter will not be extremely cold.

SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, September 3, 2020. Weekly Propane Newsletter subscribers receive all the latest posted and spot prices from major terminals and refineries around the U.S. delivered to inboxes every week. Receive a center spread of posted prices with hundreds of postings updated each week, along with market analysis, insightful commentary, and much more not found elsewhere.