While last winter was a reprieve from shoveling and high fuel bills, the party is over. According to the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, “winter is back!”
The 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, which hits store shelves everywhere on August 15, 2016, forewarns that exceptionally cold, if not downright frigid weather will predominate over parts of the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest, Ohio Valley, the Middle Atlantic, Northeast, and New England this winter. The Farmers’ Almanac’s long-range weather predictions also suggest shots of very cold weather will periodically reach as far south as Florida and the Gulf Coast.
In contrast, milder-than-normal temperatures will prevail over the Western States.
While winter officially starts on December 21, 2016, the Farmers’ Almanac predictions point to some snow and cold conditions in mid-November in the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Midwest. However, the good news is that the frigidly cold temperatures really won’t take hold until much later in the season.
DOWNRIGHT FRIGID FEBRUARY
The Farmers’ Almanac, which breaks the country into 7 zones, and offers predictions for three-day intervals, forewarns of a mixed bag of wintry weather for both December and January. But it’s really February when the frigid temperatures take hold (northern tier states could see ambient air temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero!). This is the month you want to make sure your heat works, your long johns are washed, and your slippers are nearby.
WHAT ABOUT SNOW?
Get the snow blowers ready in the East and umbrellas in the West! An active storm track will deliver above-normal precipitation to the Southeast, Northeast and New England states throughout most of the winter, especially February (see above!). In addition, another active storm track from the Pacific will deliver a dose of above-normal precipitation across the Western States. Meanwhile, near or below-normal precipitation will cover the nation’s midsection.
Farmers’ Almanac is also red-flagging February 16-19, when a small, but intense storm develops near the Virginia Capes and delivers a heavy snowstorm with strong winds for parts of the Tennessee Valley, through western North Carolina, the Virginias, Maryland, and Delaware northeast into southern New England – some locations could receive 1 to 2 feet of accumulation!
Each and every year since 1818, the Farmers’ Almanac has been offering long-range weather predictions that are amazingly accurate. But have you ever wondered how these forecasts are made?
In this day and age in which weather is found at a click of a button, the Farmers’ Almanac continues to offer a longer range weather forecast than any other source available. In each edition of the printed Farmers’ Almanac there is over 12 months of weather predictions for the continental United States, as well as a version for our Canadian friends, with weather forecasts for most Canadian provinces.
People find the Almanac’s long-range forecast especially useful when planning their days ahead, especially when preparing for heating bills, vacations, special events, weddings, and much more. Many businesses consult the Farmers’ Almanac’s outlook for their planning as well. And what’s really amazing is that these weather predictions are rather quite accurate.
So how does the Farmers’ Almanac do it?
The editors of the Farmers’ Almanac firmly deny using any type of computer satellite tracking equipment, weather lore or groundhogs. What they will admit to is using a specific and reliable set of rules that were developed back in 1818 by David Young, the Almanac’s first editor. These rules have been altered slightly and turned into a formula that is both mathematical and astronomical. The formula takes things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, position of the planets, and a variety of other factors into consideration. The only person who knows the exact formula is the Farmers’ Almanac weather prognosticator who goes by the pseudonym of Caleb Weatherbee. To protect this proprietary and reliable formula, the editors of the Farmers’ Almanac prefer to keep both Caleb’s true identity and the formula a closely guarded brand secret.
While some may question how a publication that started nearly 200 years ago can make such accurate weather forecasts, the Farmers’ Almanac editors like to remind everyone that this formula has been time-tested, challenged, and approved for nearly two centuries. The Farmers’ Almanac is the oldest source of consecutively published weather forecasts, even longer than the National Weather Service.
Unlike your local news, government, or commercial weather service, the Almanac’s forecasts are calculated several years in advance. Once the new year’s edition of the Farmers’ Almanac is printed, the editors never go back to change or update its forecasts the way other local sources do.
Though weather forecasting, and long-range forecasting in particular, remains an inexact science, many longtime Almanac followers claim that our forecasts are 80% to 85% accurate.
Article Credit: Farmers’ Almanac
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