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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Winter Officially Arrives this Week. Farmers’ Almanac Predicts “Clime and Punshment”

LEWISTON, Maine — Winter is almost here, and the Farmers’ Almanac is warning readers to hold on for what promises to be a wild ride.

This year’s winter solstice, the exact moment when the sun reaches its southernmost extreme in the sky, takes place at 12:30 a.m. on December 22. The day of the solstice also marks the official beginning of winter.

Despite a brutal October storm, which left many areas along the East Coast without power for up to a week, and more heavy snow during Thanksgiving week, many areas have seen relatively mild conditions for much of December. The 195-year-old publication, most famous for its long-range weather predictions, doesn’t expect that to change in the short term, and has warned readers in most areas not to count on a white Christmas this year.

Starting with the New Year, however, the Farmers’ Almanac expects to see much more seasonable conditions.

“We’ve already had several people calling and writing us to say that our predictions for the coming winter are off-base due to the mild weather we’ve had so far, but we just remind them that winter hasn’t even officially begun, and is a long way from being over,” says Farmers’ Almanac editor Peter Geiger, Philom.

“There is still plenty of time left to experience the ‘Clime and Punishment’ that we’ve been promising.”

With the Farmers’ Almanac predicting warmer than normal conditions for some of its weather zones, however, the punishment could mean more rain than snow in many locales.

According to publication’s secret 200-year mathematical and astronomical formula, the winter of 2012 will bring very frigid weather some parts of the country, while others will see plenty of rain and snow. The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a very cold winter for the Northern Plains, parts of the Northern Rockies, and the western Great Lakes. In contrast, the winter outlook also calls for above-normal temperatures across most of the southern and eastern U.S., and near-normal temperatures in the Midwest, the Far West, and southern Florida.

The “punishment” will come from the precipitation. The 2012 Farmers’ Almanac warns that this winter will see a very active storm track, which will bring much heavier-than-normal precipitation from the Southern Plains through Tennessee into Ohio, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast. Because of above-normal temperatures, much of the precipitation will likely be rain or mixed precipitation, although, during February, some potent East Coast storms could leave behind heavy snow, naturally of a wet and slushy consistency. The Pacific Northwest will once again see a wetter-than-normal winter, and the Southwest and Southeast will have a drier-than-normal one.

The 2012 Farmers’ Almanac retails for $5.99, and can be accessed online at www.FarmersAlmanac.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Farmers’ Almanac:
The Farmers’ Almanac, which features an orange and green cover, has been published every year since 1818. Available at grocery stores and bookstores nationwide, it contains useful and interesting articles, as well as long-range weather predictions, gardening advice, recipes, and more. Editors Peter Geiger and Sandi Duncan are available for lively and informative interviews, either by phone or in person. Both love to talk about the weather, share useful Almanac trivia and advice, and offer tips on how to “get back to the simple life.” Visit on the Web at www.farmersalmanac.com.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.