Lewiston, ME: The editors of the Farmers’ Almanac are issuing a stern warning, to “brace yourselves” for a winter forecast that you may not want to read. “Depending on where you live and how much cold and snow you like, we have good news and bad news,” reveals editor Peter Geiger, Philom. According to the 2016 edition, which hits store shelves today, winter will once again split the country in half, with the eastern sections of the country on tap for frigidly cold conditions, and the other half predicted to experience milder to more normal winter conditions.
“The winter of 2015–2016 is looking like a repeat of last winter, at least in terms of temperatures,” reveals Caleb Weatherbee, the Farmers’ Almanac’s weather prognosticator, adding, “the term ‘déjà vu’ comes to mind.” Cold conditions are likely to affect the Atlantic Seaboard, the eastern portions of the Great Lakes, the lower peninsula of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, most of the Tennessee and Mississippi Valley, as well as much of the Gulf Coast. And if you thought New England might get a break this winter, think again — the Farmers’ Almanac says be ready for more icy cold temps in this region.
“Last year our bitterly cold and shivery forecast came true in many states including the 23 eastern states that experienced one of their top-ten coldest Februarys on record,” shares Geiger. “This year many of these same states may want to get a jump start now and stock up on lots of winter survival gear: sweaters, long johns, and plenty of firewood.”
The Good News?
The 2016 Farmers’ Almanac winter outlook suggests that the central sections of the U.S. will escape the brunt of this winter’s wrath as more “normal” temperatures are forecast. Texas and the other South Central States are in for a chilly winter, but nothing too extreme. Farther west, over the Rockies, the Colorado Plateau, Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest States, milder-than-normal temperatures are expected.
While winter cold may be enough to scare many south or west this year, snow is the other factor in the forecast. If you are a snow-lover, this is where the Farmers’ Almanac has more good news. Much of the Great Plains, Great Lakes, New England, and parts of the Ohio Valley will see snow, snow and more snow. Remember Boston’s record numbers last year? While it may not reach that level this year, it certainly will be a wet, white, and cold winter. The Mid-Atlantic States should also brace for lots of storms with a good amount of snow.
The Southeast and the Pacific Northwest regions are looking at above-normal precipitation this winter, although unfortunately, the Farmers’ Almanac’s long-range outlook for the Southwest isn’t as wet as we’d all like due to the devastating drought situation. “Near-to-below-normal precipitation” is how the Almanac summarizes this region’s winter.
How Are The Predictions Made?
The Farmers’ Almanac weather predictions are based on a very specific mathematical and astronomical formula. Developed in 1818 by David Young, the Almanac‘s first editor, this formula takes many factors into consideration, including sunspot activity, Moon phases, tidal action, and more. This carefully-guarded formula has been passed along from calculator to calculator and has never been revealed.
Unlike your local news, government, or commercial weather service, Farmers’ Almanac forecasts are calculated several years in advance. Once the Farmers’ Almanac is printed, the editors never go back to change or update the forecasts the way other local sources do. Though weather forecasting, and long-range forecasting in particular, remains an inexact science, many people swear by the long-range weather forecasts offered by this yearly publication, claiming an 80-85% accuracy rate.
“If you think this winter forecast is bad,” states managing editor, Sandi Duncan, Philom.,“be sure to read our article on The Year Without a Summer (1816). Fortunately for all of us, we predict a much better summer in 2016 than the summer that caught many off guard 200 years ago.”
More Than The Weather
In addition to the weather, this edition, which is the 199th continuous publication of the Farmers’ Almanac, contains many entertaining and informative articles ranging from intriguing, quirky and unique, to historical and informative. Did you know that drinking tea can improve your memory? Or that a cucumber is really a fruit?
This year’s edition of the Farmers’ Almanac is packed with valuable advice on ways to live a more natural and healthier lifestyle. It takes a look at five historical droughts (including one current one), shares unusual muffin recipes, a new recipe contest, best days in 2016 to buy a house, quit smoking or wean your toddler, natural ways to combat garden pests, weird roadside attractions you’ve got to see to believe, plus annual favorites such as gardening, Moon, fishing, and eclipse calendars.
“The Farmers’ Almanac is a slice of everyday life topped with the “hacks” you need (we’ve been doing them since our first edition) to do things better and more easily. plus wit and wisdom,” shares Duncan, “including a very timely and appropriate Thought of the Year: ‘All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.’ ”
Time-tested and generation approved, the Farmers’ Almanac is a compendium of knowledge on weather, gardening, cooking, home remedies, healthy living, managing your household, preserving the Earth and more.