LEWISTON, MAINE >> Winter may be a few months away, but it’s front and center in August as the Farmers’ Almanac releases both its 2021 edition and its long-range winter weather forecast, which is dubbed “Winter of the great divide” because of its unusual outlook.
Because the Farmers’ Almanac is anticipating “cold and snowy conditions in the north, drought in the west, and everything crazy in between,” they’re asking, “which side are you on?”
“Preparing people for the unexpected is more important than ever,” states editor Peter Geiger, Philom. “Our job as editors of the Farmers’ Almanac is to pass down valuable tips and advice to help our readers thrive, no matter the obstacles, including the weather.”
The Cold and Snowy Side
The Farmers’ Almanac, which has been predicting the weather using a carefully guarded formula for 204 years, forewarns areas from the Great Lakes and Midwest, westward through the Northern and Central Plains, and Rockies are in for a cold winter, with normal to below-normal temperatures.
Snow will be abundant, possibly above-normal amounts for parts of the western Dakotas, northern portions of Colorado and Utah, as well as Wyoming, which is great news for skiers.
The Southeastern part of the country, excluding the Tennessee Valley, will experience average precipitation levels, with temperatures chillier than normal.
The Dry Side
Areas across the Desert Southwest, (Arizona and southern California), winter is predicted to be mild but dry. Not good news considering signs that drought conditions were beginning to ramp up in these regions at the close of the winter of 2020.
The Crazy In-Between
In New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma east into Arkansas, and Louisiana, Mother Nature will mix intervals of tranquil weather with occasional shots of cold and wintry precipitation. So those folks will have to stay on their (sock covered) toes to keep up with the changing weather.
Right along the Pacific Coastal Plain, from northern California and points north through western portions of Oregon and Washington, rainy and wet weather will be the rule for the winter ahead.
The “winter wild card” belongs to areas around the Tennessee and lower Ohio River valleys, north, and east up through New England where the Almanac suggests will see a mix of intense weather systems that will keep delivering a wintry mix of rainy, icy and/or snowy weather throughout the season.
Snow Way Out
“If you didn’t like last winter’s somewhat-boring weather in the Northeast,” shares managing editor Sandi Duncan, Philom., “you may be happy to hear what we are predicting for 2021.”
In the newest edition, Farmers’ Almanac acknowledges last winter’s “weird” conditions but hopes that their forecast of a blizzard, bringing 1-2 feet of snow along the eastern seaboard during the second week of February, will make up for it.
“Being Unprepared is so 2020”
If this last year taught us all anything, it’s that you “just never know.” The shift has moved to being prepared for anything. In addition to the winter outlook, the 2021 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac contains two centuries’ worth of useful advice on ways to grow your own food, raise chickens, save money, boost your immunity, go fishing, and plant a prolific garden to allow readers to live more self-sufficient lives. The words of wisdom, informative articles, trivia, and dates for sky watching events are there to keep readers grounded and entertained.
The Planner’s Manual
This edition also contains the popular Farmers’ Almanac planners for when to do the best gardening, fishing, and life tasks like when to quit smoking or when to get married. More specific forecasts, including the spring and summer outlooks, also help people plan their year ahead.
The 2021 Farmers’ Almanac, with its orange and green cover, is now available in bookstores and retail stores, as well as on Amazon and FarmersAlmanac.com.