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What kind of winter is forecast for our fields?

The cold is coming. Like every year, weathermen have spread the seasonal forecast including the usual confusion. Of course, it isn’t easy to predict the weather for a longer period. That is why meteorologists are actually very cautious when formulating their forecast. Nonetheless, we often receive imprecise information and contradictory opinions from the newscast and other dedicated services. That can be worrying. Especially for people like us farmers who carry out an activity much influenced by atmospheric conditions.
So, let us have a look at the forecasts published so far to understand what the coming winter has in store for us: will there be heavy showers, strong snowfalls, or frost on our fields in North America and Europe? Let’s find out together!

According to the forecast of the Farmers’ Almanac, the winter in North America will start gradually with few precipitations and temperatures slightly below the seasonal average, especially in the regions of the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Lakes. Very low winter temperatures will arrive only between the end of January and the first weeks of February 2015, when an Arctic cold front will run over the central regions causing heavy snowfalls, frost and a sudden drop in temperature up to -40°F. The situation will be very similar to that of last winter which entered history records for the extreme cold and heavy precipitations throughout the country. This weather disturbance will also influence the climate of more southern regions facing the Gulf of Mexico in terms of much more rainfalls compared to standard.

Now let us cross the ocean and move towards Europe. Based on the first forecast of NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), October temperatures are averaged in Central and Western Europe, and above the seasonal average in Russia and the Scandinavian countries. An anticyclone will protect Central and Western Europe from rainfalls at the beginning of autumn, whereas November will be a rainy month with on-the-average precipitation levels. 
December, instead, could be milder than usual for whole Europe because of a flow of warm airstreams coming from the Atlantic. The “actual” winter will then arrive at January bringing cold temperatures, plenty of snowfalls and frost lasting till late February. 

Of course, these predictions are based on theoretical models, which aren’t always reliable. Anyway, they help us getting a rough idea about general winter trends. And what about you? Do you have a personal method to sense whether winter is going to be severe or mild? What do you think about the season to come? Tell us your ideas!

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