While Delaware residents are baking in the summer heat, the editors of one almanac say the Northeast should prepare for a cold and snowy winter.
“The first bite of winter should come earlier than last year’s,” according to the Farmers’ Almanac. “December 2022 looks stormy and cold nationwide with an active storm pattern developing and hanging around for most of the season over the eastern half of the country. Maybe there will be a white Christmas in some areas.”
Based in Lewiston, Maine, the Farmers' Almanac has provided an extended weather forecast every year since 1818 to help people plan ahead.
The 2023 issue, which hits store shelves Aug. 15, is warning readers that this winter “will be filled with plenty of shaking, shivering and shoveling.”
The forecast “might send people in the Great Lakes areas, Northeast, and North Central regions hibernating.” The worst chills are predicted for the North Central states, with temperatures plunging as low as 40 degrees below zero, especially during mid-January.
The almanac predicts a stormy winter, “especially for the eastern half of the country. For some areas this may mean snow, but for others it will result in more slush and mush.”
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“Areas in the western half of the country should escape major shivers, with an overall forecast of brisk temperatures predicted in the Northwest and mild temperatures in the Southwest,” the almanac's website said.
How accurate is it?
Editor Peter Geiger said the almanac predicted many of the 2021-2022 winter storms, most notably the early-season nor’easter in the end of October and the unusual blizzard in the last week of April in parts of Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas.
“Longtime fans … who follow our weather predictions claim they are accurate approximately 80% to 85% of the time,” according to the almanac’s website.
The forecasts are based on a mathematical and astronomical formula, taking into consideration sunspot activity, tidal action, the position of the planet and other factors.
The University of Illinois studied the forecasts of another publication, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and said the accuracy of such long-range predictions is closer to a coin toss.
Professor emeritus John Walsh in the university’s department of atmospheric sciences examined forecasts of monthly temperatures and precipitation of the Old Farmer’s Almanac by comparing them with the actual weather data over a five-year period.
“Results of this study found that 51.9% of the monthly precipitation forecasts and 50.7% of the monthly temperature forecasts were accurate, concluding that these percentages are similar to the 50% success rate expected by chance,” according to the University of Illinois extension service website.
Best times to fish and plant tomatoes
While forecasts grab headlines, the Farmers’ Almanac also contains strategies to save money, solutions for greener gardens and lifestyles, along with calendars that help readers know the best time to fish, brew beer and plant tomatoes.
Other tips in the 2023 issue include:
How bubble wrap can be used to cut down on heating bills.
Why a Bundt pan is useful with corn on the cob.
When to look for a solar eclipse, meteor shower and full blue moon.
Best ways to freeze eggs, butter, milk and cheese so you can buy more when they’re on sale.
“In this day and age of busy lifestyles and high-tech gadgets, it’s important to have a publication that reminds us of what life used to be, should be and can still be,” said managing editor Sandi Duncan, who’s worked at the publication since 1994.
The editors said the almanac has always been focused on the environment and conservation and was the authority on hacks, sustainability and living green “long before those words became trendy.”
Reach reporter Ben Mace at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Delaware weather: Farmers' Almanac predicts cold and snowy winter