© 2019 Terry Swails

THE FARMER'S ALMANAC'S WINTER OUTLOOKS, NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART...

August 30, 2019

Meteorological summer is just about over (June-August) and what better time to check out the newly released winter forecasts from two very popular sources, the Old Farmer's Almanac and its off-spring the Farmer's Almanac.That's right, they both exist but as two entirely different entities. Both create winter forecasts and each sees a nasty winter coming that includes the Midwest.

 

The "Old Farmer's Almanac" dubs the 2019-20 winter as OUT COLD, saying (GET READY FOR SHIVERS, SNOWFLAKES, AND SLUSH! BIG CHILLS AND STRONG STORMS WILL BRING HEAVY RAIN AND SLEET, NOT TO MENTION PILES OF SNOW)! Here's the geographic breakdown.

 In many respects, this looks much like last winter when snow and cold overwhelmed the north half of the nation

Regarding the cold, the Old Farmer's Almanac has this to say, (In the U.S., prepare to shiver with below-normal winter temperatures from the Heartland westward to the Pacific and in the Desert Southwest, Pacific Southwest, and Hawaii but above normal winter temperatures elsewhere. The cold will continue through Valentine’s Day—providing the perfect excuse to stay indoors and snuggle! But be warned: Winter will not be over yet! For some parts of the country, frigid and frosty conditions will last well into spring, bringing little relief to the winter-weary. “This could feel like the never-ending winter, particularly in the Midwest and east to the Ohio Valley and Appalachians, where wintry weather will last well into March and even through the first days of spring,” says Almanac editor Janice Stillman). 

As for snow, it sees it this way, (In the U.S., this winter will be remembered for strong storms bringing a steady roofbeat of heavy rain and sleet, not to mention piles of snow. The 2020 Old Farmer’s Almanac is calling for frequent snow events—from flurries to no fewer than seven big snowstorms from coast to coast, including two in April for the Intermountain region west of the Rockies.This snow-overload will include storms pummeling Washington state and points eastward across the northern-tier states into Michigan. For the normally rain-soaked Northwest, this could mean a repeat of last winter’s record-breaking extremes, including the Snowpocalypse that dumped 20.2 inches on Seattle in February.The middle of the country and New England can bank on a slush fund, as “more wet than white” conditions will leave sludgy messes that freeze during the overnights. Meanwhile, much of the Deep South will be saturated by soakers. As winter rages, the tip of the nice-berg will be Florida, the Gulf Coast, and Texas, which will bask in pleasant weather). 

 

Let's move on to the Farmer's Almanac

The guru's there pose this question, "Are you ready for another winter ride, full of chills and thrills?! According to the 2020 Farmers’ Almanac, this winter will be filled with so many ups and downs on the thermometer, it may remind you of a “Polar Coaster.”  Here's the expected highlights. Frigid and snowy is the screaming message here in the Midwest.

They say this about the cold. The biggest drop—with the most free-falling, frigid temperatures—is forecasted to take hold from the northern Plains into the Great Lakes. The Northeast, including the densely populated corridor running from Washington to Boston, will experience colder-than-normal temperatures for much of the upcoming winter. Only the western third of the country will see near-normal winter temperatures, which means fewer shivers for them. According to the Farmers’ Almanac’s winter prediction, the coldest outbreak of the season should arrive during the final week of January and last through the beginning of February.

 

As for snow, and ice, the Farmer's Almanac calls for above-normal winter precipitation over the eastern third of the country as well as the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Great Lakes. The Pacific Northwest and Southwest should see near-normal precipitation. With colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and above-normal precipitation expected, our outlook forewarns of not only a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain, and sleet, especially along the coast. 

 

The 2020 edition also suggests a suspenseful start to January over the eastern half of the country. This may mean frequent free-falling precipitation as well as strong and gusty winds. January 4–7 and 12–15 could, depending on where you live, mean copious amounts of snow, rain, sleet, and ice.And for those who live northeast of the Texas Panhandle to the western Great Lakes, watch out for what could prove to be a memorable storm producing hefty snows for the Great Plains during the third week of January. This system will cause temperatures to plummet and drag the coldest Arctic air across the rest of the country into the beginning of February.

 

If those two forecasts don't have you shaking in your snow boots, I don't know what would. If you're wondering, the success rates of the two almanacs is claimed by the editors to be near 80%. Considering my area is part of an outlook that stretches across 10 very large states, chances are good that somewhere in there the forecast will be right. Just saying! Anyway, if you want more both almanacs are available on the shelf and the internet. Roll weather...TS

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