HORSEHEADS, N.Y. ( WENY)--  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration (N.O.A.A) and the Old Farmer's Almanac released their 2023 - 2024 predictions. N.O.A.A is calling for a mild winter for our area with precipitation being average to slightly above average. On the other hand, the Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy winter for our area. 

''Generally with El Nino, you have a pretty mild start to winter in December. As you get deeper into January and February, that is the time you typically see more severe cold and snow,'' said Mitchell Gaines with the National Weather Service in Binghamton. 

N.O.A.A look at several factors when coming up with seasonal outlooks like ocean temperature patterns of the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic. The anomalous warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean is called El Nino and influences global weather, including in our area. Currently, we are in a strong El Nino, which is a major factor to the mild winter outlook.  Typically, El Nino causes mild and dry winters for the Northern half of the country, while Southern states see a wet and colder winter. 

''Despite the mild winter outlook, an El Nino pattern tends to produce big snowstorms in the Northeast because it triggers an active storm track. All you need is a brief blast of Arctic Air with an incoming storm taking the right track,'' said Gaines. 

In the 2015 to 2016 winter, much of the east coast had a very mild winter overall. However, January, 2016  hammered the region with one of the biggest snowstorms for many areas. Consequently, Gaines said that we all should have preparedness in mind and be ready for when winter weather strikes. 

The Old Farmer's Almanac has been around for centuries and has been a source of weather information for many farmers. However, their winter predictions are different from the N.O.A.A's since they are calling for a cold and snowy winter. 

The Farmer's Almanac also factor in ocean and pressure patterns, like El Nino,  in their outlooks. However, they also use solar flares to come up with seasonal outlooks. 

''When the Farmer's Almanac says we are going to get a big storm in January or the second half of January, I just do not see much facts base to it,'' said David Stamp with Lakewood Vineyards. 

He is not the only one in the area that ignores the Farmer's Almanac. Dan Hurley, the owner of Bradley Farms, also noted that he does not rely on the Farmer's Almanac and most people use it as entertainment. 

They said that N.O.A.A is the most credible source seasonal outlooks.