The official start of fall is only about a month away, with the Autumn Equinox on Sept. 22. It begins just at the backend of Arizona’s monsoon season, which officially comes to a close on Sept. 30.
But when will it really start? Or rather — when will it finally feel like fall?
Every year, the Farmers’ Almanac, which has been printed since 1818, attempts to answer that question with weather predictions based on “generations of perception, experience, and common sense,” according to its website.
This fall, the almanac forecasted lower-than-usual temperatures across the United States, with cold temperatures taking over for good in late November. Overall, the almanac says it will be wetter than normal, the precipitation beginning in October and extending right through November.
Generally, cool areas of the country are expected to see “significant” snowfalls before the start of December, although the almanac predicts Thanksgiving could have good weather in most areas of the U.S. Christmas, on the other hand, “could be unsettled with either rain or snow depending on your local temperatures,” the almanac says.
According to its forecast map, Arizona’s fall theme will be cool with “decent precipitation.”
Peter Geiger, the editor of the Farmers’ Almanac, said there wasn’t much particularly interesting or new forecasted for the area this fall, with generally fair weather from September through October.
“For the most part, it looks like fairly, you know, pleasant, quiet kind of weather in September and a good part of October,” Geiger said.
Colder weather is predicted to come in between Nov. 16 and 19 and settle in for good come Nov. 24 to 27. Geiger said the almanac predicts snow this winter in northern Arizona between Nov. 20 and 23, and snow in higher elevation areas would continue into early December.
While there were no companion predictions for central and southern Arizona, Geiger said the cold from the north will likely permeate the south, making it comparatively cold for the state’s lower deserts. In other words, it will be cold in the area.
Geiger explained that the almanac’s predictions come from a formula created by the first editor of the publication, who was a mathematician and an astronomer. Essentially, the formula uses sunspot activity and the effect the moon has on the earth to be able to predict weather about two years in advance.
While its critics say its weather predictions are essentially a flip of the coin, Geiger said in general he has been told the forecasts are about 80% accurate and are especially on target when it comes to winter forecasts. He also said that in its more than 200 years of printing, only seven people have done the weather, with each working for about 30 or 40 years and they have applied that same formula.
“I think we do a pretty good job,” Geiger said.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Farmers' Almanac forecasts cool weather for Arizona this fall