Note: for the 2011-12 forecast, click here!
I always like to take a look right before December to see what the Farmer’s Almanac has to say about the coming winter and this year the predictions are somewhat interesting.
The Almanac’s weather prediction feature has always been a major interest to me and the company which publishes it claims an 80 to 85 percent accuracy rate for its long range forecasts. That’s not bad considering this publication was started in 1818! The method they use to arrive at these accurate forecasts are kept very secret. They admit only to using top secret mathematical and astronomical formula that rely on such factors as sunspot activity, the tides and even planetary positions.
According to the 2010 edition this winter (January through March) will see more days of really cold conditions: a winter during which temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation.
A large area of numbingly cold temperatures will predominate from roughly east of the Continental Divide to west of the Appalachians. The coldest temperatures will be over the northern Great Lakes and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. But acting almost like the bread of a sandwich, to this swath of unseasonable cold will be two regions with temperatures that will average closer to normal—the West Coast and the East Coast.
Also, near-normal amounts of precipitation are expected over the eastern third of the country, as well as over the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains, while drier-than-normal conditions are forecast to occur over the Southwest and the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes.
Only the Central and Southern Plains are expected to receive above-average amounts of precipitation. Hey, that’s where I live!
While three-quarters of the country is predicted to see near- or below average precipitation this winter, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any winter storms! On the contrary, significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone. For the Middle Atlantic and Northeast States, for instance, we are predicting a major snowfall in mid-February; possibly even blizzard conditions for New England!
The bottom line seems to be that most of the country, especially the center will see a little more precipitation and slightly colder temperatures than normal.