Is it Spring yet?
LAKE AREA – Freezing fog punctuated a long cold snap Wednesday morning as the previous night’s mist clung to the trees. According to the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac, we’d better get used to it. The almanac predicts this winter will see more days of shivery conditions: a winter during which temperatures will average below normal for about threequarters of the nation.
A large area of numbingly cold temperatures will predominate from roughly east of the Continental Divide to west of the Appalachians. The coldest temperatures will be over the northern Great Lakes and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The almanac’s 2010 weather map predicts this year will be “very cold and snowy” for central Ohio. So far, so true.
The almanac predicts nearnormal amounts of precipitation over the eastern third of the country, as well as over the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains, while drier-than-normal conditions are forecast to occur over the Southwest and the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes.
According to the almanac, while three-quarters of the country is predicted to see near or below average precipitation this winter, there will still be plenty of winter storms! Significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone. For the Middle Atlantic and Northeast States, for instance, the almanac predicts a major snowfall in mid- February, possibly even blizzard conditions for New England.
While it’s easy to dismiss the Farmers Almanac predictions in favor of a high-tech Doppler radar, keep in mind that last year, the almanac predicted an exceptionally cold winter and a cool, wet spring and summer for most regions. As promised, bitter cold and heavy snow punished much of the nation, coming on early in the season and lingering through the start of spring. When spring finally did arrive, it came bearing heavy rains, with twice the annual average falling in many northern states.