The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 14, 2013

Cold winter predicted

JOHNSTOWN — “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” may be more than just a worn-out old song if The Old Farmer’s Almanac is accurate in its predictions for the winter of 2013-14.

Hot off the presses and available at retail stores everywhere, this “bible” of weather prognostication, vegetable planting and harvesting charts and what it boasts as “new, useful and entertaining matter,” the almanac is warning all to bundle up.

“You’re in central, west-central Pennsylvania and there will be a swath of cold, with below- average temperatures and below-average precipitation,” Janice Stillman, editor of the almanac, told The Tribune-Democrat in a telephone interview from her Dublin, N.H., office.

Those colder temperatures will switch to warmer-than-normal temperatures through much of 2014, followed by a cooler-than-normal fall, according to the almanac, now in its 221st year of continual publication.

The almanac has been making weather predictions since the days when George Washington was president and claims to have an 80 percent accuracy rating.

The term “normal” or “average” is drawn from a 30-year period and the predictions draw largely from solar science, Stillman said.

This monitors action on the sun, the sunspots and magnetic storms that occur on the surface of the sun.

These observations are over hundreds of years observed by almanac meteorologists and others, she said.

Also playing a role in the predictions is climatology and meteorology, illustrating a move toward an increased use of technology, Stillman said.

Those relying solely on technology, including meteorologists with the National Weather Service, anticipate the weather to be a little warmer for what are traditionally the coldest months of winter.

“We’re predicting above-normal temperatures for that period and it will be not too far from normal for precipitation,” said Craig Evanego in an interview from his State College office.

The winter outlook from the Climate Prediction Center of The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration is for above-normal temperatures with not a strong trend toward precipitation.

But back to the almanac, which calls itself “useful with a pleasant degree of humor.”

There likely will be snow flurries for Thanksgiving with temperatures dipping lower than normal, said Stillman. Christmas promises snowfall, at least flurries in this region, with temperatures Stillman described as bitter cold.

Also, look for snowstorms later in February.

The colder temperatures are  driven by the sun and as of late the solar activity has been diminishing, all part of the weather cycle.

“When it’s not so active, the temperatures are cold and frigid,” Stillman said.

The Cambria-Somerset region, which falls into the Almanac’s Region 3 forecast for the Appalachian Mountains, predicts snow or flurries could hit as early as Nov. 6 to 8.

The coldest periods of the winter likely will be in late December through early January, then again in early February.

March will be mostly cold with some rain and little sun, while April will bring more sun and typical spring temperatures and showers.

Look for precipitation to be a little below normal in May with temperatures above average, and much of June will be warmer than normal with rainfall average.

The middle of July will be hot but a little cooler toward the end of the month, while August will be warm and sunny with heavy thunderstorms.

September and October will be rainy at first, then broken up with rain and cooling and warming trends, the Almanac tells us.

Kathy Mellott covers environmental issues for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/kathymellotttd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads