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Winter Begins Next Week: What’s in Store?

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Winter Begins Next Week: What’s in Store?

Next week, winter officially begins. The winter solstice, the time of year when the Sun reaches its southernmost extreme in the sky, will happen on Tuesday, December 21, at 6:38 p.m. EST.

Though the solstice is considered the astronomical start of winter, many areas have already begun to see some wintry weather, including heavy snow near the Great Lakes. By a more traditional reckoning, the December solstice doesn’t mark the start of winter, but “midwinter.” Ever since the summer solstice in June — the official start to summer, or “midsummer,” depending on which idea you adhere to — the days have been getting ever so slightly shorter each day. This time of year, though quite dark, marks the return of the light. Starting around the winter solstice, the days will begin to grow gradually longer once again. This is why, at this dark and cold time of year, so many holiday traditions celebrate warmth and light.

So, what does the coming winter have in store? Will your area see snow this Christmas? What about the rest of the season? Here’s what the Farmers’ Almanac predicts:

Most regions of the U.S. shouldn’t expect a white Christmas this year; only the Rocky Mountains are forecast to receive snow over the holidays. In all other areas, the weather should be fair, but cold, over Christmas, with rain threatening South Central states and unsettled conditions over the West Coast.

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In Canada, look for snow in the Maritimes, prairies, and Canadian Rockies. Elsewhere, freezing rain will prevail.

As we turn the page on a New Year, Old Man Winter will exhibit a “split personality” throughout North America. Over the coming months, the East Coast, from the Canadian Maritimes down to Florida and as far west as the lower Ohio River and Mississippi River Valley, is expected to experience colder-than-normal winter temperatures.

Meanwhile, for the western states and provinces, milder-than-normal winter temperatures are expected, from the Pacific Coast inland as far as the Rockies and the western Great Plains. Near the center of the continent, in the American Midwest, Saskatchewan, and parts of Alberta and Manitoba, look for near-normal winter temperatures, with average amounts of cold and snow.

All things considered, when comparisons to last year are made, we believe that for most, it will turn out to be a “kinder and gentler” winter overall.

To see more detailed predictions for your region, be sure to check out the Farmers’ Almanac long-range forecast.

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1 Kelly Davis { 12.14.11 at 9:27 am }

with my birthday falling on the 1st day of Winter, both(winters and birthdays) being events I hate to see come around, it is only fitting that it is the shortest day of the year.

2 WENDY SCHEDEL { 10.29.11 at 2:13 pm }

i so hate the winter!!

3 mark { 10.23.11 at 12:12 pm }

I love winter!!!!!!

4 mogator { 12.17.10 at 8:50 pm }

I hate winter!!!!!!!!!

5 Joycee { 12.16.10 at 6:54 am }

Snow is beautiful, and it’s a treat to watch it fall. However, I seem to not be able to keep warm! It’s all part of winter and we can choose to enjoy or not.

6 Amanda { 12.15.10 at 10:29 pm }

I live in the snowbelt in Northeastern Ohio. I can attest to the affects of the snowbelt. If you go 10-20 minutes south of here, you see blades of grass; whereas, we have between 2-3 feet!!! In the snow drifts, it’s actually higher than the hood of my Jeep. I work about 35 – 40 minutes south of here. My work place doesn’t believe how much we have. So, I took a picture with my cell phone to show them. I usually like snow and winter, but this is a bit much.

7 cindy { 12.15.10 at 4:00 pm }

Last year here in Kansas City we had a beautiful white Christmas, allthough it would be welcomed again this year it does’nt look like that will be happening BAH-HUMBUG!

8 Louise Cronian { 12.15.10 at 10:54 am }

I would like to know what it will be like in New Hartford, NY and/or Utica, NY nobody ever talks about it. It is always Syracuse.

Can you please give us an idea. So far it is hit and miss and I want some snow.

9 Amy { 12.15.10 at 9:43 am }

I covered my tropical plant “shade house” with clear greenhouse plastic in order to heat more effectively over the colder months here in Phoenix. Keeping my trees and palms from frost damage……well I have scorched trees from the heat and sun through the plastic!!! More will be revealed. No permanent damage to the trees, I must add more shade however. Happy Days!!

10 Matthew { 12.15.10 at 9:05 am }

im guessing that La Nina is not going to be bringing warmer temps and less snow for the West Virginia area. That really stinks. After last winters horrible season I was hoping for a break this winter but its already hitting us hard and no relief seems to be coming.

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