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I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't show you the Farmer's Almanac forecast for the winter. When I do this you get double the money because there are 2 almanacs...(no doubt to confuse you!). One is the Farmer's Almanac and the other is the "Old" Farmer's irrelevant distinction in my opinion since I put little stock in either one. However, they are fun to look at and every once in a while a blind dog finds a bone (in other words they get one right). I'll tell you right now the last few forecasts have been busts for the upper Midwest...way off the mark. Nobody did very good last year so I will give them that much!

OK, to the business at hand. Here's the Farmer's almanac winter forecast. Essentially for my area and the Midwest. It calls for wild temperature and precipitation swings.

The specifics as stated by the Farmer's Almanac:

“Our winter outlook is a tradition that, for two centuries, has been celebrated with cheers and jeers, depending on what type of winter activity you enjoy. Many people are hoping they'll need their shovels, but others are content to don their shorts all year-long.”

– Editor Peter Geiger, Philom.

Cold conditions are back! According to the Farmers’ Almanac’s 200-year-old formula, this winter is expected to be a bit more “normal” as far as the temperatures are concerned, especially in the eastern and central parts of the country–chiefly those areas to the east of the Rocky Mountains–with many locations experiencing above-normal precipitation.

For the western third of the country—mainly those areas west of the Continental Divide—the overall winter will not be as wet as last year. Our forecasts are pointing to a return to more normal winter conditions in regard to both temperatures and precipitation. This is not to say that there won’t be occasional bouts of heavy precipitation sweeping in from the Pacific, or shots of cold air pushing south through western Canada (because what’s winter without those?), but these should be balanced out by spells of dry and mild weather.

Break out the space heaters, umbrellas, and warm socks, because the Southeast will see below normal winter temperatures with an unseasonable chill reaching as far south as the Gulf Coast, with above-average precipitation.

From the Great Lakes into the Northeast, snowier-than-normal conditions are expected. We can hear the skiers, boarders, and snowmobilers cheering from here!

“One of the key components in our formula is the Moon and its motions. The Moon has a proven influence on the tides, and it is our belief that it may have effects on our atmosphere as well. Ocean tides can be accurately predicted, so part of our formula relies on the belief that we can line up certain weather patterns with a specific position of the Moon in its orbit … ”

– Caleb Weatherbee, Official Almanac Weather Prognosticator

Of particular note, for those readers rooting for shovels, we are red-flagging the 2018 dates of January 20-23, February 4-7 & 16-19, and March 1-3 & 20-23 along the Atlantic Seaboard for some heavy precipitation. Good news for skiers and snow enthusiasts, but for those looking to build sandcastles, not-so-good news, but a good time to book that tropical getaway.

Now the "Old Farmer's Almanac winter forecast. It has a mild but snowy winter for much of the MIdwest. That's interesting because in general, mild winters around my area bring more rain than snow. It's a bit of a contradiction if you see my point.

Here's the specifics of the Old Farmer's Almanac forecast.

Colder—But Not Colder Than Usual

This winter is forecast to be much colder than last year’s, but—just like last winter—not colder than usual. In fact, a large part of the northern United States will experience milder-than-average temperatures (though we would still recommend having your long underwear on-hand), while much of the South and West can expect to feel cooler than normal. Escaping this chill are Florida and the Southeast, where milder-than-usual temperatures will be felt.

A Wet and Snowy Winter All-Around

Precipitation will be at above-normal levels throughout the country, which will translate to equally above-normal amounts of snowfall in parts of the Northeast, central Great Lakes, central Plains, Intermountain region, and from eastern Tennessee through New Mexico. Get your shovels ready! Notable exceptions to this wet winter are the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwest, where less precipitation than usual is expected.

Mostly Mild…

From coast to coast, Canadians are in for a milder-than-average winter overall. (A welcome change, we think!)

…And Not So Snowy

Most of Canada will see below-normal levels of rain and snow this winter, though the southeast and northwest corners of the country are exceptions. Southeastern Ontario, Yukon, northern Labrador, and most of Quebec will see more snow than usual, while the rest of Atlantic Canada can expect above-average amounts of rain.

For reasons I won't get into yet I feel the N. Central Midwest has a 70-75% chance of experiencing a colder than normal winter. I also feel there is a 60-65% chance much of the region will see near to above normal snowfall. My winter temperature forecast is close to being in line with what today's CFSv2 showed. Here it is.

Personally I think the cold should be a little more easterly. Closer to what you see for the period January-March below....probably even a bit further east than this encompassing more of Illinois and Michigan.

At any rate, it is still early. The sea surface temperature patterns have not been established and I won't be confident in saying anything too bold until I see where we stand there at the end of October. The La Nina and SST's will be key drivers along with a couple more key teleconnections. I'm out! Roll weather...TS

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