FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — You may want to keep your snow shovel handy this winter, because Fairfield County could see a return of heavy snow after a relatively mild season last year.
AccuWeather is predicting that the mid-Atlantic and Southern New England "will get a snow dump this winter." New York City, whose normal seasonal snowfall is 25.1 inches, is forecast to be one of the major Interstate 95 cities that will see "above-normal snowfall" this year.
"The eastern half of the country will see plenty of cold and snow," writes the Farmers' Almanac. Areas from the Great Lakes to the Northeast will see colder than normal temperatures, as well as heavier precipitation, the Almanac predicts.
The Almanac is "red-flagging" Feb. 12 through 15 and March 20 through 23 for major coastal storms, which will include strong winds and heavy precipitation along the Eastern Seaboard. AccuWeather predicts that the cold will phase in with storms in January and February to create potentially large snowstorms.
Last winter was the fourth warmest in the continental 48 states since record-keeping began in 1895, according to the Farmers' Almanac. Twenty-four states experienced below-normal precipitation. Those conditions continued into the spring, with above-temperatures throughout the country and the most severe drought conditions in 50 years.
AccuWeather's long-range meteorologists are predicting a weak to moderate El Nino this fall, which will impact snowfall this winter. Historically, strong La Ninas and weak El Ninos lead to higher-than-average snowfalls. A weak El Nino in 2009 contributed to a record 23.2 inches of snow that hit Philadelphia that year.