www.baltimoresun.com/news/weather/weather-blog/bal-wx-farmers-almanac-cold-winter-with-snow-sleet-rain-ahead-in-maryland-20120905,0,2574741.story

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Farmer's Almanac: Cold winter with snow, sleet, rain ahead

By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

3:06 PM EDT, September 5, 2012

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Count one more prognosticator among those calling for a snowy winter in Maryland -- the Farmer's Almanac.

The publication's winter outlook calls for cold and moisture across the Northeast and Great Lakes region. That could mean a lot of snow for the northern parts, but some sleet and rain mixed in for the mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley, according to the forecast.

The almanac has pegged February 12–15 and March 20–23 for "major coastal storms along the Atlantic seaboard" -- as in, potential repeats of Snowmageddon-like storms.

Expectations of snow for the East Coast stem from the fact that the climate phenomenon known as El Nino is likely to form by the end of this month. El Nino is known for producing the right conditions to spawn winter storms across much of the east, though it doesn't guarantee they will all come together at the same time.

The Climate Prediction Center and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society have the planet on an El Nino watch, with a weak to moderate-strength El Nino by fall and winter.

AccuWeather cited El Nino in a seasonal forecast similar to that of the Farmer's Almanac, predicting above-normal snowfall across the East Coast.

Last winter's 1.8 inches of snow, as measured at BWI Airport, was the least since the winter of 1972-1973. The norm for Maryland is about 20 inches of snow over a season. Two winters ago, Baltimore totaled 14.4 inches, while the year before that, the Snowmageddon storm pushed the total to 77 inches.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.