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Sultry summer to follow a stormy spring, says Farmers’ Almanac

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Spring is on the way, but don’t expect March to go out like a lamb this year, says the Farmers’ Almanac.

The vernal equinox, which marks the official beginning of spring, will take place this year on Saturday, March 20, at 1:32 p.m. EDT. But the coming of spring won’t put an end to the wild weather of the past winter. The Farmers’ Almanac long-range forecast, which was compiled two years ago, warns of wetter-than-normal conditions in many regions.

“Not only will spring showers be abundant, there is also the threat of an unusually active tornado season,” said Peter Geiger, Philom., editor of the 192-year-old publication.

In the Southeast and South Central United States, the chill and wet of the past winter are just the beginning. The Farmers’ Almanac predicted above-normal amounts of precipitation for those regions, with the wettest weather over central Texas. Much of Florida and parts of Georgia and South Carolina are also expected to be exceptionally wet this spring.

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The coming of April could mean potentially severe weather in the Midwest and East, with tornado activity across Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and western Kentucky. The threat of strong thunderstorms and tornadoes will loom even as far west as Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona.

The unusually potent El Niño weather system that took hold late last year is expected to linger into the spring. In addition to unseasonably cool weather across the Southeast and South Central US, its effects through May should include unusually mild, dry weather from the western Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest.

Things will finally begin to warm up with the start of summer, which should bring hotter than normal temperatures for most regions. Only the Pacific Northwest and New England can expect to see near-normal temperatures this year.

“Those who complained about last year’s cool, soggy weather may enjoy the scorching heat we’ve predicted for the coming summer. Just be sure to stock up on sunscreen,” quipped Geiger.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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