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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Is a Stormy Spring/Summer on Tap?

It may seem hard to believe, with snow still blanketing so many areas of North America, but spring is just around the corner. The official first day of spring this year is Saturday, March 20.

This winter shaped up to be a pretty wild one, especially for those living east of the Mississippi. Will the coming of spring offer respite from this year’s wacky weather conditions? Not necessarily. The Farmers’ Almanac long-range forecast, which was compiled two years ago, warns of wetter-than-normal conditions in many regions. Not only will spring showers be abundant, there is also the threat of an unusually active tornado season.

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For those in the Southeast and South Central United States, the chill and wet you experienced this winter are just the beginning. Expect to see above-normal amounts of precipitation, with the wettest weather over central Texas. Much of Florida and parts of Georgia and South Carolina are also expected to be exceptionally wet this spring.

Don’t expect March to go out like a lamb this year. The coming of April could mean potentially severe weather in the Midwest and East, with tornado activity across Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and western Kentucky. The threat of strong thunderstorms and tornadoes will loom even as far west as Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona.

The unusually potent El Nino is expected to linger into the spring. In addition to unseasonably cool weather across the Southeast and South Central US, its effects through May should include unusually mild, dry weather from the western Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest.

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Above the 49th Parallel, look for cold, stormy conditions, with possible April snow showers along the East Coast. Beginning in May, most provinces can expect fair, but cold, conditions to persist into the beginning of summer.

Things will finally begin to warm up with the start of summer, which should bring hotter than normal temperatures for most regions. Those who complained about last year’s cool, soggy weather may enjoy the scorching heat we’ve predicted for the coming summer. Only the Pacific Northwest can expect to see near-normal temperatures this year. Elsewhere, be sure to stock up on sunscreen.

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.