The Farmers’ Almanac is out with its upcoming winter outlook for the entire nation. Here in the Upper Midwest they predict a highly stormy December, a hibernation period heading into the new year with cold temps possibly down to minus 40 in January and an average snowfall for the winter season. The Almanac says they were able to predict many unusual major storms in the past like the blizzards in October of 2021 and April 2022 .
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, first published in 1818, they are looking at El Niño.
The big change is what is happening in the Pacific Ocean: the arrival of El Niño. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) declared onset of El Niño conditions on July 4, 2023. The La Niña that was present during the past three winters is over.
What does this mean? Broadly speaking, this weather phenomena leads to a winter season which is snowier and colder than average across the U.S. and Canada.
How Does the Almanac Predict the Weather?
By tradition, The Old Farmer’s Almanac employs three scientific disciplines to make long-range predictions: solar science, the study of sunspots and other solar activity; climatology, the study of prevailing weather patterns; and meteorology, the study of the atmosphere. We predict weather trends and events by comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity. Our forecasts emphasize temperature and precipitation deviations from averages, or normals. These are based on 30-year statistical averages prepared by government meteorological agencies. Read more about how they predict the weather.
How Accurate Are The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s Forecasts?
In every Almanac edition, we publish the results and a full analysis of the prior year’s long-range predictions. We believe that nothing in the universe happens haphazardly, that there is a cause-and-effect pattern to all phenomena. However, although neither we nor any other forecasters have as yet gained sufficient insight into the mysteries of the universe to predict the weather with total accuracy, our results are almost always close to our traditional claim of 80% accuracy.