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Farmers' Almanac predicts a 'polar coaster' for this winter

Sorry to kill those summer vibes, but winter is coming.

With August coming to an end and apple picking and pumpkin spice lattes on the horizon, one thing is clear: winter is coming.

The Farmers' Almanac released their prediction for the upcoming winter, saying it will be a "polar coaster," meaning it will be filled with ups and downs on the thermometer.  

Their 2019-20 Winter Outlook map shows that Michigan will be "frozen and snowy" but other areas of the United States will see more mild temperatures.

“We expect yet another wild ride this winter,” Farmers' Almanac editor Pete Geiger reports, “with extreme temperatures swings and some hefty snowfalls.” 

Credit: Farmers' Almanac

Here are some of the highlights, or lowlights, depending on how you feel about winter:

  • The biggest drop—with the most freefalling, frigid temperatures—is forecasted to take hold from the northern Plains into the Great Lakes.
  • According to the Farmers’ Almanac’s winter prediction, the coldest outbreak of the season should arrive during the final week of January and last through the beginning of February.
  • The Almanac calls for above-normal winter precipitation over the eastern third of the country as well as the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Great Lakes.  
  • With colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and above-normal precipitation expected, the Farmers’ Almanac extended forecast forewarns of not only a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain, sleet—especially along the coast.
  • The 2020 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac suggests a suspenseful start to January over the eastern half of the country. This may mean frequent freefalling precipitation as well as strong and gusty winds. January 4–7 and 12–15 could mean copious amounts of snow, rain, sleet, and ice.
  • According to our long-range outlook, spring will be slow to start with winter lingering across the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast, and New England. Occasional wet snow and unseasonably chilly conditions will hang on for a ride that you may not be able to get off until April!

Just how does the Almanac get their forecast this early? Farmers’ Almanac forecaster Caleb Weatherbee (a pseudonym for their prognosticators) uses a top-secret mathematical and astronomical formula, taking sunspot activity, tidal action, the position of the planet, and many other factors into consideration. 

WKYC contributed to this reporting. 

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