“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” –Yogi Berra, New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher

2018 Old Farmer's Almanac

Photo: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

For what it’s worth, Turf Magazine consulted the Old Farmer’s Almanac to get some idea of what the 2017-2018 winter has in store for us. For what’s it worth?

OK, we’ll get into that soon enough, but first, this winter’s forecast:

  • The Great Lakes into the Northeast should expect snowier-than-normal conditions. The Almanac is red-flagging the 2018 dates of January 20-23, February 4-7 & 16-19, and March 1-3 & 20-23 along the Atlantic Seaboard for some heavy precipitation.
  • Parts of the western Great Lakes, eastern Great Plains, and points south, including Arklatexoma (where Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma abut), should prepare for wide swings in the weather pendulum from very warm to very cold, and periods of tranquil conditions mixed with occasional spells of tempestuous weather.
  • Cold conditions — “a bit more normal” in terms of temperatures ­– will chill the eastern and central parts of the country, chiefly those areas to the east of the Rocky Mountains — with many locations experiencing above-normal precipitation.
  • Dry is the word for the western third of the country. Areas west of the Continental Divide will not be as wet as last year with a return to more normal winter conditions in regard to both temperatures and precipitation, but with occasional bouts of heavy precipitation sweeping in from the Pacific.
  • The Southeast will see below normal winter temperatures with an unseasonable chill reaching as far south as the Gulf Coast, with above-average precipitation.

Beyond the above broad regional forecast, the Almanac breaks down its 2017-2018 winter weather forecasts for the United States into 18 smaller regions and Canada into 7 separate regions. You can check them out, including shorter-range weather forecasts at www.almanac.com.

The Almanac claims it makes it forecasts based on a secret formula that was devised by the founder of this Almanac, Robert B. Thomas, in 1792, the year George Washington was unanimously elected to his second term as U.S. President.

Notes about that formula are locked in a black box in the publishing company’s offices in Dublin, New Hampshire. The Almanac claims that it also employs state-of-the-art technology and modern scientific calculations — the study of sunspots and other solar activity, climatology and meteorology ­— to make its long-range predictions:

There you have this winter’s weather from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which are made 18 months in advance. The publication claims its forecasts are “traditionally” 80 percent accurate … for what it’s worth.