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Six More Weeks?

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Six More Weeks?

This Thursday is Groundhog Day, a day when groups of people across North America pluck unsuspecting woodchucks from their burrows in the hopes of finding out whether or not winter will end early. Groundhog Day has its roots in Candlemas, also known as Imbolc, the midpoint on the calendar between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. An old bit of weather lore says that sunny skies on this day foretells a long winter, while grey skies indicate that spring is on the way. And so the tradition of groundhog seeing his shadow was born. Of course, with the glare of hundreds of cameras trained on him, it would be a miracle if Punxsutawney Phil – or any of North America’s other prognosticating groundhogs – didn’t see his shadow.

Instead waiting until Thursday for a weather prediction from a sleepy marmot (after all, groundhogs are supposed to be hibernating at this time of year), why not find out right now what we’re predicting for the next six weeks.

As many of you have pointed out here on our website, and elsewhere, this winter has gotten off to a really slow start, which is precisely what we predicted. We called for mild temperatures in much of North America, and very few storms in December or January, even in those areas that we said would be very wet or white. That may lead some of you to believe that Old Man winter will pass by without making himself known, but that’s not what we saw when we compiled our long-range forecast more than two years ago. In fact, we think this winter will come on in full force over the next few weeks, with a few wide-reaching storms predicted through the month of February.

We’re calling for heavy snow, with accumulation of up to a foot, over the Midwest, Canadian prairies, Rocky Mountains, and Pacific Northwest next week, and an equally heavy snowfall for Eastern Canada, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic closer to the middle of the month. Elsewhere, we see plenty of light snow throughout the month.

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Moving into March, we’re predicting a little more snow for New England, with heavy rain showers elsewhere. March will probably feel more like spring than winter in many areas, but a wet, chilly spring. Look for a few flurries in Ontario near the official start of spring, a parting gift from Old Man Winter as he packs it in for another year

For more detailed predictions for your region, be sure to check out our long-range forecast!

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1 Melissa Mudge { 02.13.12 at 8:37 am }

I live in southern NY, Binghamton, can we expect at least one snow storm before winter is over?

2 Aaron { 02.05.12 at 5:06 pm }

This winter has to be the best so far, it helps to keep my cold hardy palms going. Just this last week it was 34 degrees average. Another zone 10a week fine by me.

3 Michael Croston { 02.05.12 at 1:51 am }

Live in Medina Ohio, it has been springlike most of winter sure could use some snow snowplowing & such if u know what I mean, bring it on!

4 Jaime McLeod { 02.06.12 at 12:03 pm }

Hi Maria,
Most early blooming flowers are pretty hardy and should be able to bounce back from snow or frost. Here in Maine, it’s not uncommon to get a snow in April, after the crocuses and daffodills have started to come up. Likewise with the trees. Their cycle is determined by the amount of sunlight they get. I would hold off on spring planting, though. Follow the dates on the back of your seed packets for your frost zone. Better safe than sorry.

5 Maria { 02.04.12 at 8:17 am }

I’m a longtime fan of FA but a noob at horticulture. If we are to expect snow later this month, will it kill the flowers already blooming in Columbus, Ohio? Will it harm the budding trees? Should I hold off on my spring planting? It reached 64 degrees here on February 1st.

6 Joy Hindmon { 02.02.12 at 11:25 am }

I agree with Stephen. It may be -20 degrees in North Texas but in the Houston-Galveston area, it may be 50-60 degrees. Forecast for this state is very generalized. But, still love my almanac. Keep up the good work.

7 Robert DeBoard { 02.02.12 at 1:55 am }

I live in Dayton, Ohio and it has been warm, with maybe a record or two broken,springlike all winter. I hope that old man winter dumps it on us with what is left of the season. A week or two of really cold temps will be sure to kill off some of this summers insects. Besides, I love the snow and really miss it on mild winters. I was born the day after Christmas so I guess I was a snow baby. I hope I’m not the only one.

8 kathy { 02.01.12 at 11:26 pm }

We have had a very mild winter in southwester WV…good for the adults but bad for the kids that want to play in and get out of school because of the snow.

9 Evelyn Vincent { 02.01.12 at 9:49 pm }

Good story Caleb! I’ve also been thinking we haven’t seen the end of winter 2012… and it’s making me wonder if we’re going to get clobbered like most of the eastern US saw in the winter of ’94-’95 (when my house nearly collapsed from the weight of the 3 snow storms we had in PA). What you’re saying suggests it won’t be quite that bad… I hope you’re right, too much snow in a short period of time is very hard on buildings. Thanks for the update!

10 Ali { 02.01.12 at 5:45 pm }

It has been a very mild (with spring-like conditions) all winter so far, here in Alberta, Canada. But I will not put it past old man winter to surprise us with a few brutal spring storms, and if that’s not the case it’ll probably make up for it this summer….let’s hope not!

11 HMH { 02.01.12 at 3:12 pm }

I enjoy the Farmer’s Almanac but I have to say your long range forecast for the North Central was WAY off. You predicted it to be cold & average snow…so far we have had a very warm winter & far below average snow fall (we in Minnesota are now considered in drought conditions!). Hopefully we will get that late snow storm.

12 JOHN { 02.01.12 at 10:07 am }


13 Debbie { 02.01.12 at 10:02 am }

Your prediction for the Maritime in Canada was bang on!

14 steven { 02.01.12 at 10:01 am }

I certainly love my Farmer’s almanac, but I find long range weather predictions to generalize.
I live in South Texas where it can be springlike here but North Texas is in a deep freeze.
I would certainly be surprised to see northern New Mexico’s weather anything like Texas weather.
As I say I still love my almanac as I have been a faithful subscriber for many years.

15 verna { 02.01.12 at 9:42 am }

What can we expect over here in Virginia ( Pulaski Va)

16 wodiej { 02.01.12 at 9:37 am }

Live in Indiana and this is one of the mildest winters we’ve had. We had another mild one about 5 years ago and Spring arrived in March w temps in the 60’s. Forecast for early Feb. is way above avg. temps ranging from mid 30’s to high 40’s. Yesterday we had a high of 54. Of course it could change later in the month but I’m betting not.

17 heavy hedonist { 02.01.12 at 9:32 am }

Works for me! I’ll gladly take a chilly Spring over a snowbound Winter, this year.

18 Susan Brinkley { 02.01.12 at 9:22 am }

What does the weather for Georgia look like?

19 Hil { 02.01.12 at 9:17 am }

Just love it…… Makes One think Winter is almost over.

20 Jaime McLeod { 02.01.12 at 8:37 am }

yoverizon, Virgina is in Zone 1 of our forecast and is considered part of the mid-Atlantic region. There will always be some variation within our regions, and Virginia will generally see less severe winter conditions than other parts of the region, but we do foresee some snow coming your way. You can see your detailed forecast here:

21 yoverizon { 01.31.12 at 10:13 pm }

According to Farmers Almanac is central virginia considered mid-atlantic?

22 C { 01.30.12 at 9:20 am }

Thanks Caleb – good update!

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