Farmer's Almanac predicts a wintry mix or a mixed-up winter

Consumer Reports News: August 30, 2010 05:04 PM

Depending on where you live, the winter of 2011 is going to be a "cold slap in the face" or "kinder and gentler," according to the new edition of the Farmer's Almanac.

Oh, it'll be cold but not like last year when every state but Hawaii got snow. "Overall, it looks like it's going to be a kinder and gentler winter, especially in the areas that had a rough winter last year," managing editor Sandi Duncan told the Associated Press.

The Farmers’ Almanac predicts that winter will exhibit a “split personality.” The eastern third of the country, (New England down to Florida and as far west as the lower Ohio River and Mississippi River Valley), will experience colder-than-normal winter temperatures. Last year, New England escaped some of the worst weather.

Milder-than-normal winter temperatures are expected in the Western states extending from the Pacific Coast inland as far as the Rockies and the western Great Plains. The upper Midwest is expected to be "cold and very snowy" so if you live in Cleveland you may want to invest in a snow blower.

The Farmers' Almanac bases its predictions on "a secret mathematical formula using the position of the planets, tidal action of the moon and sunspots," says the AP. The scientific community hasn't embraced its methods, still it's fun to see what the 194-year-old almanac predicts each year.

The Farmer's Almanac is not to be confused with the Old Farmer's Almanac, which is 24 years older. That familiar yellow volume will issue its predictions next week.

—Mary H.J. Farrell

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