LEWISTON, Maine - A harsh winter is coming, according to the 2020 Farmers' Almanac.
The almanac released its extended weather forecast, predicting a “Polar Coaster Winter” that will make for plenty of freezing temperatures and snowfall in most of the country this season.
The coldest temperatures are expected in late January, which will likely affect millions of people living in the northern plains all the way to the Great Lakes. Temperatures in the plains areas could dip as low as -40 degrees, according to the almanac.
Between Jan. 4 -7 and 12-15, many parts of the country could see “copious amounts of snow, rain, sleet and ice.” A storm system moving through the U.S. could also cause temperatures to “plummet and drag the coldest Arctic air across the rest of the country into the beginning of February.”
Peter Geiger, an editor for the periodical, said the 2019-20 winter season will be intense.
“We expect yet another wild ride this winter with extreme temperature swings and some hefty snowfalls,” he said.
In the mountain areas, there will be “freezing, frigid and frosty” temperatures, according to the almanac.
The western-third part of the country will see a milder, near-normal set of winter temperatures and rain, according to the forecast. It is also predicting above-average winter rain over the eastern-third of the country, the Great Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes areas.
Pacific Northwest and Southwest regions will see near-average rainfall.
But colder-than-average temperatures will hit the northeast as well as above-average rainfall.
The forecast also predicts a “wintry mix of rain (and) sleet – especially along the coast.”
Spring is expected to start by mid-to-late April, according to the almanac.
The editors of Farmers’ Almanac use “a specific and reliable set of rules” that were created back in 1818 by David Young, the first editor of the almanac, to predict weather conditions for the U.S.
According to the periodical, the rules have been altered over time and turned into a “formula that is both mathematical and astronomical.”
Farmers’ Almanac further explains that the only person who knows “the exact formula” is the weather prognosticator who goes by Caleb Weatherbee. His identity, as well as the full formula, remain a “closely guarded brand secret.”
This story was reported from Los Angeles.