It’s that time of year, the Old Farmer’s Almanac and their younger sibling, the Farmer’s Almanac (FA) is forecasting the coming winter season. Lets see what both have to say…
The Old Farmer’s Almanac (OFA) was founded in 1792 and has been releasing annual long-range weather forecasts for centuries. Remember, the OFA’s weather predictions are made up to 18 months in advance, and according to their own numbers close to 80% correct. The 2022 Old Farmer’s Almanac comes with a winter warning: Prepare for a “Season of Shivers.” This winter will be punctuated by positively bone-chilling, below-average temperatures across most of the United States. “This coming winter could well be one of the longest and coldest that we’ve seen in years,” says Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
In some places, the super cold of the coming winter will also bring lots of snow. This extreme wintry mix is expected in areas of New England as well as throughout the Ohio Valley, in northern portions of the Deep South, and in southeast New Mexico. Above-average snowfall is also in the forecast along a track from eastern Montana southward through the western halves of the Dakotas and into northeastern Colorado. While temperatures in this mid-country strip will be relatively normal, snowfall will be abundant, with several storms predicted throughout the winter. Meanwhile, most western areas will remain relatively dry, with all but the Pacific Coast itself and portions of the Southwest experiencing the frigid cold predicted for much of the rest of the country.
For the 2021–2022 weather predictions, the important factors which shape the weather include a weak La Niña, a continued warm phase in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), a neutral to positive phase in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) in the early stages of its warm cycle. In addition, we are in the early stages of Solar Cycle 25, which is expected to bring very low solar activity—historically associated with cooler temperatures, on average, across Earth.
The Farmers’ Almanac (FA) has been in continuous publication since 1818 and just released their Winter Weather Outlook for 2021/22. They claim it’s 80-85% accurate.
Winter temperatures are expected to range from near- to somewhat below normal across the eastern third of the nation, well below-normal over the Central US, and near-normal across the western US, especially in February. Especially come March when most parts of the nation will be anxiously awaiting warmer days, the news is not all rosy: they will be few and far between. In fact, around the time of the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 20, unseasonably cold temperatures may grip many parts of the country. As we mentioned, this winter will be doing a lot of flip-flopping, with fluctuating temperatures, and March is no exception.
They’re forecasting a “winter whopper” for parts of the Northeast and Ohio Valley toward the end of February. Another “atmospheric hemorrhage” from the Pacific could lash most of the far West, with everything from strong winds to heavy rains and snow.
The Great Lakes, Midwest, and Ohio Valley will have more than their fair share of cold and flaky weather in January. The Northern Plains and the Rockies will also experience Old Man Winter’s wrath with stormy weather culminating in a possible blizzard later in the month.
The West can expect some hefty storms moving inland from the Pacific during the second week of January and the end of February, but they most likely won’t alleviate the drought conditions that area is experiencing.