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Since 1792, when Robert B. Thomas founded his publication The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the brand has been releasing long-long-term seasonal forecasts.
These conjectures are based on a formula that combines old methods like solar science and the study of sunspots (magnetic storms on the sun’s surface, which were once thought to affect conditions on Earth), with new ones, such as climatology and the study of weather patterns, meteorology, and the atmosphere.
Admittedly, many meteorologists believe that you can’t reliably trust a forecast beyond 10 days. However, with a self-reported 80 percent accuracy average, there’s something tempting about taking a peek about the Almanac’s predictions to see if we can tell the meteorological future.
So what’s ahead for around the next solstice, December 21, 2023? The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2023-2024 Winter Forecast claims to have our answers. Apparently, it’s a wise idea to have your coat and mittens ready, because “the 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts snow, seasonable cold, and all of winter’s delights,” the authors explain. “This winter’s forecast is sure to excite snow bunnies and sweater lovers alike, promising a whole lot of cold and snow across North America!”
In nearly all snow-prone parts of the country, expect higher-than-usual rates of snowfall, with an early start and late end to flurry season. Alongside the frosty scenery, you can anticipate colder-than-common temps. Central and Eastern states might be blasted with another frigid polar vortex this winter. In fact, “only snowy New England and the Atlantic Corridor will enjoy winter temperatures which are milder than what’s typical for their regions,” the Almanac says.
In the Deep South, Texas, and California, rain will prevail, and residents along the majority of the Eastern coastline may experience a mix of mild and cool temps. The Pacific Northwest is one region that’s expected to remain “relatively dry and cold throughout the season.”
If you’re curious about what the crystal ball says about your particular locale, check out this region-by-number map to determine where you land. Then check out your specific weather prediction below. (Psst…we’ve called out all the spots where you may be able to look forward to a white Christmas, in case sledding, snowball fights, or simply feeling like you’re sitting inside a snowglobe are treasured parts of your holiday traditions.)
Region 1: Northeast — “The snowiest stretches occur in mid-to late November, mid-December and early to mid-January,” the Almanac says. Overall, the temps appear to be tracking above normal, with chilly spurts in mid- to late November, early to mid-January, and early to mid-February.
Region 2: Atlantic Corridor — Snowfall is expected to be 2 to 3 inches above monthly averages, with the snowiest parts of the season at the tail end of December, late January, and mid-February. Temperatures should be above normal, except for a cold spell from late January to the middle of February.
Region 3: Appalachians — You may notice above-normal overall precipitation and snowfall, however. As far as the mercury levels, they are on track to be just below average.
Region 4: Southeast — While it’s unlikely to be a white Christmas, it might be a wet one, folks! Overall precipitation rates seem higher than usual, as do temps, which are expected to be mild and slightly above normal.
Region 5: Florida — Wet and mild rules the day for most of the state (except the dryer south). Snowbirds will be happy to hear that Florida’s winter temps are anticipated to be milder than usual this year.
Region 6: Lower Lakes — North of I-90, Santa might bring you a white Christmas! Beyond that, the snowy, colder-than-average periods are expected for late January through mid-February.
Region 7: Ohio Valley — With a wetter and colder than usual winter on the horizon, residents can look forward to a snowy week around Hanukkah and Christmas. “The coldest spells will occur in late December, early January, and late January through mid-February,” the authors say.
Region 8: Deep South — Get your rain boots ready; you’ll need them for much of the wet and mild yet colder-than-common season. The chilliest times are forecasted for late December, early and late January, as well as early February.
Region 9: Upper Midwest — Go ahead and start dreaming of a white Christmas, because the authors claim that this is one of the few regions that is expected to entirely be treated to a fluffy, white gift on December 25. Winter temps are anticipated to be below normal, especially during the second half of November, the majority of December, the start and end of January, and early February. Snowfall is also expected to be above normal rates.
Region 10: Heartland — Keep that scarf handy. The forecast for this region includes colder than normal climate. You can also anticipate a white Christmas, with winter’s snowy peak from late December to mid-January.
Region 11: Texas-Oklahoma — With just a bit more precipitation and temps leaning ever so colder in the north but warmer in the south, conditions are looking about on par for the course in these states.
Region 12: High Plains — Precipitation and snowfall will be a bit higher than most years, and “it will be extra cold,” the Almanac explains, with the glacial temps foreshadowed for late November, late December, and early to mid-January.
Region 13: Intermountain — Who’s ready for some soup? Temps are prophesied to be an estimated 4° F below average, and “we’re looking at above-normal snowfall. The snowiest periods will be in mid- to late November, early and late January, and mid-February,” the authors claim. “Expect a white Christmas!”
Region 14: Desert Southwest — In parts of this region that typically receive snow, folks can await more flakes than normal, with the snowiest times during the second half of January and mid-February. Temps will be cooler than usual, especially in late November, at the start and end of December, and throughout late January.
Region 15: Pacific Northwest — Although this region is known for its frequently dreary conditions, residents can look forward to a colder yet drier-than-normal winter. The coldest weeks will fall in mid-November, late December, and mid-January.
Region 16: Pacific Southwest — It’s going to be a wet, stormy, and cold season, with the most precip predicted during early and late January, early to mid-February, and mid-March.
Region 17: Alaska — With a white Christmas and snowier-than-usual season ahead, you may guess that it will also be a frigid season. But the Almanac claims that temps should be about 4° F above average.
Region 18: Hawaii — Rainy and mild is the M.O. for the islands, the Almanac predicts. “Expect the stormiest periods in early November in the east and early January and mid-February.”
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