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Buckle up Ohio! 2020 Farmers' Almanac calling for a 'polar coaster' winter

“Freezing, frigid, and frosty” are the exact terms used to describe the upcoming season

Enjoying the summer? This might come as a bit of a buzzkill then. 

The extended weather forecast from the 2020 Farmers' Almanac is out and things are shaping up to be 'freezing, frigid, and frosty' in our area. 

“We expect yet another wild ride this winter,” Farmers' Almanac editor Pete Geiger reports, “with extreme temperatures swings and some hefty snowfalls.”

Here are some of the highlights, or lowlights, depending on how you feel about winter in Northeast Ohio: 

  • The biggest drop—with the most freefalling, frigid temperatures—is forecasted to take hold from the northern Plains into the Great Lakes.
  • According to the Farmers’ Almanac’s winter prediction, the coldest outbreak of the season should arrive during the final week of January and last through the beginning of February.
  • The Almanac calls for above-normal winter precipitation over the eastern third of the country as well as the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Great Lakes.  
  • With colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and above-normal precipitation expected, the Farmers’ Almanac extended forecast forewarns of not only a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain, sleet—especially along the coast.
  • The 2020 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac suggests a suspenseful start to January over the eastern half of the country. This may mean frequent freefalling precipitation as well as strong and gusty winds. January 4–7 and 12–15 could mean copious amounts of snow, rain, sleet, and ice.
  • According to our long-range outlook, spring will be slow to start with winter lingering across the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast, and New England. Occasional wet snow and unseasonably chilly conditions will hang on for a ride that you may not be able to get off until April!

Just how does the Almanac get their forecast this early? Farmers’ Almanac forecaster Caleb Weatherbee (a pseudonym for their prognosticators) uses a top-secret mathematical and astronomical formula, taking sunspot activity, tidal action, the position of the planet, and many other factors into consideration.

We asked Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling for her thoughts on the Farmers' Almanac outlook. 

"Guess what?  We call that “winter” here in Cleveland.  We’ll get cold.  Yep, we’ll have snow," she told us. "Seasonal forecasts are a dime a dozen and there are hundreds of people putting out forecasts for months from now. Some of them will get pretty darn close, and a lot won’t.  But the bottom line is that our atmospheric system is so complex, it is insane to say anyone knows “exactly” how it’ll all play out."

Here's one thing we do know, it's 75 degrees in downtown Cleveland on Monday afternoon! 

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