What a Warm Start to November Can Tell Us About Winter in New England
It’s not often that we hit Halloween in New England, and then go backwards to beach weather. I’m guessing a lot of reflexive reactions, like mine, are: “I’ll take it!”
But hold on just a second.
You know the expression “quiet – almost too quiet”? For members of the region’s meteorological community, this was the thought when it came to mild autumns.
Veteran meteorologist Mark Rosenthal shared that it was (and for some, still is) widely believed that a mild October and November means a heavy winter. “The old rule of thumb back in the day was (when) September and October were really warm, a lot of times, that was a prelude to a very mild winter."
“When you have – certainly in Boston – a big snowstorm in Boston in October, the rest of the winter, more often than not, is a dud,” he continued.
But Rosenthal cautioned that skiers and snowboarders shouldn’t rush to buy new gear just yet.
He noted how that rule “went out the window” a few years ago, when the region experienced heavy snow in October and still went on to be blanketed in the winter. “When you have a lot of flips like we’ve been having (in October), there’s really no continuity."
“When you just have a few weeks of warmth early in November…that’s not a prelude to the rest of the winter.”
Rosenthal stressed that due to October’s unpredictability, one shouldn’t read too much into what November means for the coming months. Had October remained mild throughout, things could be very different.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has already predicted a harsh New England winter. However, when one considers the “scoop” that put the magazine on the map, it might be wise to take it with a grain of salt before salting your sidewalks.