Farmer’s Almanac Winter Forecast — “Winter Is Back!”

Here’s the bold print: “While last winter was a reprieve from shoveling and high fuel bills, the party’s over. According to the 2017 Farmer’s Almanac, winter is back!”

Overall, an early wave of winter weather will be visiting in November, but things don’t get too rough until February, which the Almanac dubs “Frigid February”: Watch for an especially challenging weather event between February 16-19. The holiday season should be clear enough for travel in most regions.

The Almanac predicts a colder winter than last year but still slightly above-average winter temps — and way more pleasant conditions than the nasty cold snaps of 2013 and 2014. So, make sure you have a warm coat, but wait a second before trading in your front-wheel drive vehicle for an all-wheel drive and investing in snow pants.

Although some meteorologists seem skeptical of their assertions, let’s remember the last three years — The Almanac was mostly correct (2014 was one hell of a winter; am I right?). Either way, no one doubts the Almanac’s unique value: Who else predicts weather 18 whole months before it’s due? No one.

Here’s a breakdown of anticipated weather patterns, by region:

Southeast — Kentucky might be getting lucky this winter. Reasonable temps are expected to pervade the eastern regions below the Mason-Dixon Line. Notice that we said reasonable, not mild.

Northwest — Get ready for more rain. Yes, even more than usual.

Northeast — This normally snowy region, especially the northernmost portions, will get a little less precipitation this year; but snow will not skip it entirely.

Upper Midwest — These winter months won’t let you go too easily, as you’re used to. To clarify, “Snowfall will be above what’s typical from eastern Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and southward to St. Louis, Missouri; and from central North Dakota westward to the Pacific.”

Pacific Regions — Good old sunny Calfornia will stay warm and pleasant this year, with even higher temps than last year.

Great Plains — The good news is that you won’t get getting pelted with snow as you did in 2015-2016.

Should you believe these predictions? While no one knows what the future holds, Farmer’s Almanac has been a fairly accurate weather resource since the George Washington era. The traditional claim is that the Almanac upholds a standard of at least 80% accuracy. Only time can tell…

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