Skip to main content

The Old Farmer's Almanac winter prediction: 'Prepare for a season of shivers'

Oh, goodie.
winter, cold,

Frozen Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis during the 2019 winter. 

One could easily argue that the worst kind of winter is a cold and dry winter. The snow makes things interesting, albeit it a pain in the butt for travel, but winter can get very long when it's cold and dry. 

Alas, a cold and dry winter is precisely what The Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting for Minnesota and the Upper Midwest

Weather is sponsored by All Energy Solar: get a free installation quote now!

“This coming winter could well be one of the longest and coldest that we’ve seen in years,” said Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The annual seasonal outlook warns Americans to prepare for a "Season of Shivers." 

Here's what The Old Farmer's Almanac says about the Upper Midwest: 

"Winter temperatures will be below normal, on average, with the coldest periods in early, mid-, and late December; early and late January; and mid-February. Precipitation will be above normal in the east and below normal in the west, while snowfall will be below normal in most areas. The snowiest periods will be in late November, mid- to late December, mid- and late January, mid- and late February, and late March."

Last week, The Farmers' Almanac predicted Minnesota's 2021-22 winter to be "numb" with lots of shoveling. So both of the farmer-based almanacs are in line with thinking the upcoming winter is going to be frigid. 

"I know people want to believe in the ‘mystical powers’ of a secret forecast formula that’s been around for hundreds of years but the truth is their forecasts are no more accurate than anything from the Climate Prediction Center," says meteorologist Sven Sundgaard. 

What does the National Weather Service think?

Per NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, November-January has equal chances of below-normal or above-normal temperatures and precipitation for Minnesota. And the same goes for December-February, though the long-range outlook does suggest a slight chance of above-normal precipitation January-March.

The Twin Cities averages 54 inches of snow each winter, though just shy of 49 inches was recorded last winter (when The Old Farmers' Almanac wrongly predicted above-normal snowfall). The winters of 2017-18 and 2018-19 were much snowier, with more than 77 inches piling up both winters. 

The winter of 2018-19 saw a monthly record of 39 inches fall in February, while the 2017-18 winter was capped off with a monster snowstorm that fueled 26 inches of snow in April.

The last time Minnesota had an incredibly hot summer was 2012. That was followed by a whopping 67.7 inches of snow in the Twin Cities during the 2012-13 winter, though there is next to nothing to support any connection between a hot summer and a wet winter. 

That said, the record-breaking hot summer of 1988 was followed by the '88-'89 winter dropping 70 inches of snow in the Twin Cities. 

Coincidence? Probably. 

Next Up

Mock aircraft cabin.

MSP Airport debuts mock aircraft to help ease flying anxiety

The pre-flight experiences cover the TSA screening procedure, exploring a terminal, boarding a plane and meeting a pilot, and preparing for takeoff.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

These Minnesota kids will be competing at National Spelling Bee

The upcoming event in Maryland will be the first fully in-person Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2019.

covid, kids

New data shows how omicron has impacted kids in Minnesota

The new data shows breakthrough data during the omicron period, which began Dec. 19, 2021.

Javen Juan Moreno

Albert Lea shooting suspect arrested after 3 weeks on the run

He is accused of shooting a man in the upper thigh on May 1.


Motorcyclist, 59, killed after losing control on right curve

The Harley Davidson rider was thrown from his bike.

state capitol Minnesota

Minnesota's 2022 legislative session: What's happening?

A list of items agreed upon and yet to reach any bipartisan agreement in the latest legislative session.

water drain

Water main break floods 40-45 homes in St. Louis Park

The city says the rupture happened on Minnetonka Boulevard.

Eli Hart

Charges: 6-year-old Eli Hart shot up to 9 times by his mother

The 28-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

dave lee wcco radio

Former WCCO Radio host Dave Lee moves into podcasts

His new podcast, called 'My First Concert,' launched last week.

Tow Boat

Tow boat collides with Mississippi River lock and dam in Alma, WI

The crash remains under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

unsplash school bus

Police: Man in minivan approached kids, claimed he was former principal

Investigators say children were approached by a man in a white minivan who falsely claimed he'd been a local school principal.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, May 23

The latest from the state health department.


snow, snowplow

'Frigid & Snowy': The Farmers' Almanac releases winter forecast

Fun fact: It last snowed in the Twin Cities 110 days ago (as of Aug. 26).

Farmers' Almanac predicts brutal winter for Minnesota

The Old Farmer's Almanac and Farmers' Almanac are butting heads about the forecast.

Old Farmer's Almanac releases winter forecast for Minnesota

They also believe El NiƱo will play a role in our weather.


The Farmers' Almanac unveils 2020-21 winter forecast for Minnesota

There appear to be a lot of farmers who enjoy predicting weather and writing almanacs.