Get ready: It's going to be a cold and snowy winter, forecasters say

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The farmers have spoken: It's going to be a cold and snowy winter for many in Minnesota.

The Farmers' Almanac and its elder counterpart The Old Farmer's Almanac have released their predictions for this winter. (Yes, there are two different almanacs named after farmers that released winter forecasts this week.)

And for winter-weary Minnesotans, it may not be the best news.

Grab your parka

The Farmers' Almanac – which bases its forecast on sunspots, tidal action, and the position of the planets, among other things – thinks we'll see average snowfall in Minnesota.

But it'll be cold – especially in February.

The 200th anniversary edition of the almanac says frigid temperatures are expected, and northern tier states could see "ambient air temperatures" as low as 40-below. Brr.

The average mean temperature for the Twin Cities in December is 19.7, 15.6 in January and 20.8 in February.

https://www.facebook.com/TheFarmersAlmanac/videos/10153641877966459/

There could be more snow, too

The Old Farmer's Almanac uses a "secret formula" to come up with its forecast, and this year it says it'll be cold and snowy for many of us.

From North Dakota to Maine, the 225th edition of the almanac says there will be below-normal temperatures, while much of the rest of the country will see cold, but still above-average temps this winter.

And for the snow – it'll be considered above-average for much of central and eastern Minnesota. (The average snowfall for the Twin Cities in December is 11 inches, about a foot in January and 7.8 inches in February, according to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group.)

https://twitter.com/almanac/status/765268559366881286

What does the NWS think?

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center also releases long-range forecasts.

In July, it predicted for December, January and February there's a 50 percent chance temperatures will be below average for much of Minnesota. And for snow, the agency says there's an equal chance snowfall this winter is either above average, below average or normal.

So, it's fair to say it's hedging its bets.

So how accurate are these forecasts?

It's not hard to predict Minnesota's winters are going to be cold and snowy, but how accurate are these long-range forecasts?

The Old Farmer's Almanac says its forecasts are traditionally 80 percent accurate, while The Farmers' Almanac says it has predicted a bunch of major weather events accurately over the years.

But keep in mind, meteorologists have a hard enough time predicting the weather for that week, let alone a few months in advance.

"We're really good at the day of and the next day, (and) we're better at temperature a ways out than precipitation. But to forecast out that far in advance ... even the science behind our long-range forecasting is sometimes not that solid," Dave Hennen, senior meteorologist and executive producer for CNN Weather says.

And remember last year's warm-up? The Star Tribune says both almanacs missed that in its prediction, with The Farmer's Almanac blaming the inaccurate forecast on El Nino.

For more information on Minnesota's climate history, click here.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.

snow, plow

Snowy Saturday: Here's how much snow is forecast in Minnesota

Snow will reach the metro area by the early afternoon.

Related

Get ready: It's going to be a cold and snowy winter, forecasters say

The farmers have spoken: It's going to be a cold and snowy winter for many in Minnesota.

State officials: Winter's coming – get ready

Monday marks the beginning of Winter Hazard Awareness Week, a state effort to get residents prepared for harsh, dangerous weather ahead. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is focusing on a range of wintry risks this week. Last year's mild winter may have lulled people into a sense of complacency.

Winter is back on: It's going to get pretty cold this week

The wind chill will fall below zero this week.