Debbie McFadden

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See How Much Snow The Farmer's Almanac Predicts

Farmers' Almanac: 'Teeth-chattering' cold and lots of snow expected in Iowa this winter.

Get ready to walk in a winter wonderland of freezing cold and an abundance of snow this year.

The Farmers' Almanac is predicting a "teeth-chattering cold" with "plentiful snow" in its Midwest 2018-19 winter outlook.

And the middle of the United States — aka Iowa — is expected to receive the most snowfall this year.


Let's be honest though, this is no surprise. Cold temperatures and snow are predictable elements of winter, even though we begrudge them. Iowans are proud of our ability to traverse snow-covered roads and brave freezing temperatures.

Some contradicting news though: While the Farmers' Almanac is calling for a cold winter, the Old Farmer's Almanac — a separate forecaster — has predicted "above-normal temperatures" in most areas of the country, according to USA Today.

“Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, and snow-filled winter," said Farmers' Almanac editor Peter Geiger in a statement on the company's website. 

In an interview, Geiger said, “We start talking about the snows in the later part of November.” A number of snowstorms are predicted for the end of November and December. Several storms are forecast for March.

According to the National Weather Service's data, the average temperatures in Des Moines from November 2016 to February 2017 were:

November: 49 degrees

December: 27 degrees

January: 28 degrees

February: 39 degrees

How do they predict it?

The Farmers' Almanac uses a formula that's both "mathematical and astronomical," where it takes "things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, position of the planets, and a variety of other factors into consideration," the Farmers' Almanac said.

How accurate are they?

The Farmers' Almanac claims that many of its longtime followers say the forecasts are 80-85 percent accurate.

A Penn State meteorologist disagrees, noting that it's nearly impossible to predict the weather that far ahead.

"The ability to predict events that far in advance is zero," said Paul Knight. "There's no proven skill, there's no technique that's agreed upon in science to be able to do that."

Source: Des Moines Register

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