By now you've probably seen a handful of long-range forecasts regarding what kind of winter we will have in New Jersey. From the farmer's almanac to other official weather outlets, there's no doubt predicting the weather is no walk in the park.

Before diving into what we do know will occur this winter based on past trends, I want to first acknowledge that weather forecasting is just that, a forecast. An educated guess as to what the weather will be for the day, week, and so on.

(Click here to check out Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow's latest weather blog).

I may not forecast the weather myself, but I do know a handful of people who do. One of them is my brother who forecasts the weather overseas for the United States Airforce.

Now, it's one thing for a forecast to be a bust at home (where naturally, we all log onto social media and complain and bash every meteorologist on the planet), but it's another when you're forecasting for our troops. Being as accurate as possible is paramount to the safety of those serving our country.

Same thing with rocket launches, such as NASA's recent launch where the safety of their crew was heavily dependent on the weather leading up to blastoff. And in both these scenarios, there's a reason why long-range forecasts can't be counted on. There's too much at play that could alter the outcome of a prediction so far out.


With all of that said, it goes to reason to take all these long-range forecasts about snowfall in New Jersey with a grain of salt. Yes, there are certain events that tend to affect the weather in New Jersey down the road, such as a strong El Nino or La Nina in the Pacific Ocean.

But, stating what will happen months from now is just a predicted trend, not an official forecast. Unless you're able to teleport to the future, nobody can tell us at this point in time what the weather will be like on January 1 when we ring in the new year. Will it be colder than normal? Will it snow? Will there be a heatwave? At this point in time, nobody truly knows.


So what can we say for sure will happen this winter? Aside from possible trends that forecasters might be seeing that affect the big picture, what we do know is it'll definitely get colder in New Jersey.

I know that sounds like a terrible answer, but honestly, we won't know for sure what types of participation we'll have, or if it'll line up with a warm or cool air mass. New Jersey does typically see its first frost at some point in mid-October.

As for an outlook? According to a recent prediction on, winter in New Jersey at the moment looks to be less snowy with a milder kickoff to the season. So for now, less snow with warmer temperatures appears to be what's to come with some colder air late. Again, it's always wise to take these predictions with a grain of salt.

Now, could we also have above-average snowfall? Absolutely. But having above-average snowfall doesn't necessarily mean a snowier-than-average winter. All it'll take is one big storm in an otherwise snowless and warm winter.


Yes, it is fun to imagine that we might have a snowy or mild winter. It's also interesting to see what others think will happen. Just be cautious with how serious to take all these long-range forecasts and follow the trends accordingly.

A safer bet regarding snowfall would be to follow trends we've seen in past years, including when those first snowflakes may fall here in The Garden State.

First flakes: When does snow season start in NJ?

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If you're one of those drivers, then this note's for you.

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