The Old Farmer’s Almanac says we could be in for a long-cold winter — but then again maybe not. The Almanac’s Janice Stillman says the region that includes Iowa could have a rough winter. She says they predict a much colder and snowier than normal winter from November to December. Stillman says there’s one important factor that could intervene — El-nino.

Stillman says they’re looking for a January that’s six degrees below normal on average with more snow, and February will also be cold, if El-nino doesn’t develop. Stillman says the Old Farmer’s Almanac meteorologist says El-nino’ holds the key to the cold.

Stillman says if the El-nino strengthens, we could have a very mild winter. Stillman says last January saw the warming El-nino effect and was one of the warmest on record.

Stillman says the Old Farmer’s Almanac also uses sun spots in determining its forecast. Stillman says the sunspots are cyclical. Stillman says right now we’re at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, but the next period will be intense and she predicts we’ll see a cooling trend that lasts 12 to 15 and maybe 20 years.

Stillman says the Almanac has a track record of being right 80-percent of the time. She says no one is perfect, such as last year when they called for a warming period in February — but the period came in January — making them 65-percent accurate. Stillman visited Iowa promoting the new edition of the Almanac.