I hate to be the bearer of bad news but winter still exists and it's coming for us. Well, it's really coming for me in a big way since I live in the north and Game of Thrones is right; "the North remembers." I remember getting snowed in for several days last year and running out of wine and thinking I would have to snowshoe 10 miles to buy more. It was not fun. And it's apparently going to be even less fun this year. Winter 2018-19 is going to be brutal and colder than normal, apparently, so I think I'll start stocking up on back up boxes of wine now.
The Farmers' Almanac has been predicting weather patterns since 1792. How exactly? According to the history of the almanac, it "records and predicts astronomical events (the rising and setting of the Sun, for instance), tides, weather, and other phenomena with respect to time." It's a tried and true, well-respected way to get a long-term forecast for the coming season, and apparently the Farmers' Almanac is all doom and gloom for winter 2018-19. Unless you're someone who likes wearing seven sweaters, long underwear, and hiding under the blankets for four months (which I sort of am, I think). In that case... good news everyone, winter is going to be pretty wretched.
According to Farmers' Almanac editor Peter Geiger, people shouldn't believe recent rumors that we might be able to expect a nice, easy winter. As he wrote on the company's website:
Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, and snow-filled winter. We stand by our forecast and formula, which accurately predicted the many storms last winter, as well as this summer’s steamy, hot conditions.
He's right, it's been a pretty hot summer. And I guess suffering through a long, cold winter is our punishment for all of that swimming and happiness.
The website forecast especially terrible weather (think teeth chattering, pipes freezing, and sallow complexions that makeup never seems to help) in the New England states, the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and the Midwest. So basically all of the places that get winter are going to have a bad one, if you believe the Farmers' Almanac. But I guess the real question is this; should you believe them?
The Farmers' Almanac has been predicting weather for centuries, but the brains behind the business are super protective about the process. As CNN reported in 2015, the "secret formula" is actually kept in a "locked black box," if you can believe it. But don't go thinking that that long term predictions are based on mysticism or dancing under the moon or anything like that. Although that would be amazing, the website says the process is more scientific than that:
Over the years, we have refined and enhanced that formula with state-of-the-art technology and modern scientific calculations. We employ three scientific disciplines to make our 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.
There's a bit of a twist here though, folks. Apparently there are two versions of the Farmers' Almanac, and they're both giving different predictions for the winter. The Old Farmers' Almanac is apparently predicting a warm and wet winter, according to Country Living, and since it has 'old' in the name I feel like its wiser and is probably correct. Also the National Weather Service seems to be backing up the Old Farmers' Almanac by predicting warmer than usual temperatures. Two against one, guys. Warmer weather wins.