Springtime flowers begin to break through the wintered earth in...

Springtime flowers begin to break through the wintered earth in Centereach in 2014. Could Long Island be in for an early spring this year? Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Don’t wait for the groundhog. A pair of forecasts is already saying there's a chance for an early spring.

Using very different methodology, both the Old Farmer’s Almanac and the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center have called for above-average temperatures in the months ahead — which sounds pretty good after Monday's highs in the 30s and chilly winds.

The National Weather Service’s forecast, based on scientific weather models and the influence of the El Niño global climate pattern in the Atlantic, calls for temperatures to be above normal in the next three months.

But that doesn’t mean Long Island is in the clear yet, as it historically marks its average for the highest snowfall from February through March.

“Seasonal forecasting is tricky; a forecast is usually about a week in advance, but subtle differences in conditions can lead to different outcomes,” said Dominic Ramunni, a meteorologist with the weather service in Upton. “As we go into the spring, the El Niño system begins to weaken and we could see subtle effects that could bring above-normal temperatures.

“That’s not to say we’re not going to get any snow or cold air and above-normal precipitation,” he added.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac — which says it derives forecasts “from a secret formula” combining sunspots, prevailing weather patterns and 30-year meteorological statistical averages — also predicted a warmer and early spring.

The almanac predicted above-average temperatures in March, ahead of the official spring equinox on March 19. The almanac also calls for March to go in like a lamb, with much drier conditions. Warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected to continue through April and May.

But officials with the weather service note that the almanac may lack some of the scientific analysis, saying it works more like “a magic 8-ball.”

Ramunni noted that this year was one of Long Island’s wettest on record. He said the long-range forecast calls for more wet weather and temperatures above normal.

The departure of El Niño in the spring could also influence how much precipitation Long Island and the region get, he said.

The ups and downs of winter can be difficult to predict. Long Island recorded its earliest 70-degree day last year on Feb. 16. But two weeks later, the region got its first and only significant snow.

“It’s difficult looking into the future and … it only takes one anomaly to shake things up,” Ramunni said. “If we get the ingredients for one classic blockbuster snowstorm in February, you can’t entirely rule it out.”

New contractor hired for Bethpage drums ... Blue Angels on LI ... What's Up on LI Credit: Newsday

Newsday/Sienna College poll ... Avalon Bay apartments in Amityville ... JFK travel this weekend ... Summer concert preview

New contractor hired for Bethpage drums ... Blue Angels on LI ... What's Up on LI Credit: Newsday

Newsday/Sienna College poll ... Avalon Bay apartments in Amityville ... JFK travel this weekend ... Summer concert preview

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME