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.

Last week, the Old Farmer's Almanac unveiled its highly anticipated long-range forecast for the upcoming 2020-21 winter. On Monday, the Old Farmer's rival, The Farmers' Almanac, released its winter forecast for Minnesota and the rest of the U.S. 

"If you love the cold of winter, you’re going to love our forecast if you live in the northern half of the country. Our long-range forecast is calling for a cold winter with normal to below-normal temperatures in areas from the Great Lakes and Midwest, westward through the Northern and Central Plains, and Rockies," The Farmers' Almanac's release said

The winter prediction says "the biggest drop — with the most free-falling, frigid temperatures — is forecasted to take hold from the northern Plains into the Great Lakes," in addition to "the coldest outbreak of the season" happening in the final week of January through the beginning of February. 

"Cold, Above Normal Snowfall"

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The map says it all for Minnesota and the Upper Midwest/Northern Plains, though more specific details can be found in the annual book release, which you can read for free with a 30-day trial via an online version of Kindle that can be downloaded on Amazon (just don't forget to cancel the membership).

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The specifics for the region that includes Minnesota has the following events that could bring impacts to our area:  

  • Dec. 1-3: Big storm clears Dakotas/Nebraska area
  • Dec. 12-15: Storm across the Rockies and Plains
  • Dec. 24-27: Fair, then stormy with heavy snow over the Rockies, Plains
  • Jan. 1-3: Snow in the northern plains
  • Feb. 1-3: Widespread snow
  • Feb. 8-11: Snow for MN, Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska
  • Mar. 12-15: Stormy, snow

But here's where The Farmers' Almanac really gets bold: Predicting a giant snowstorm in late March! March 24-27, to be exact: "A major storm develops over the central Rockies, pushing east-northeastward, bringing a hefty snowfall (10-18") to Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Missouri." 

There is no mention of April snowstorms for Minnesota, though the long-range forecast from the Farmers' Almanac is saying to watch out for severe weather, including the threat of tornadoes, in southern Minnesota next April 20-23. We'll keep that in mind. 

So how accurate is The Farmers' Almanac? 

It claims to be 75-80% accurate, saying it uses a "reliable set of rules that were developed back in 1818 by David Young, the Almanac's first editor." The formula is both mathematical and astronomical, using sunspot activity, tidal action of the moon, and planet positions, among other things. 

The Old Farmer's Almanac's winter forecast also predicts above-normal snowfall for Minnesota.

"In the Upper Midwest (Minnesota and Wisconsin and northern Michigan), snowfall will be above normal. In the eastern Dakotas, snowfall will be below normal," the Old Farmer's Almanac says. "The snowiest periods will be in late December, early and late January, late February, and early March."

What's more is that the prediction calls for temperatures to be warmer than average, though the "coldest periods will come in December as well as late January and late February."

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