The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting wild temperature swings and periods of storminess this coming winter for much of the Midwest – including Iowa.

Almanac editor Peter Geiger says Iowans can expect something slightly more harsh than the rather mild weather of last winter. “It’s not going to be like the coldest winter ever, but I think you’re going to get some decent precipitation, which you need badly,” Geiger said.

The Almanac predicts areas west of Iowa, like Wisconsin and Illinois, will experience colder than normal temps with a varied mix of snow, sleet and rain. People from the Great Lakes to northern New England are being advised to prepare for a very cold and snowy winter.

The Farmers’ Almanac has been releasing winter weather predictions for 196 years. Geiger notes the publication is accurate with the forecast about 75 to 80 percent of the time.

According to Geiger, the forecast is based – in part – on a “mathematical and astronomical formula” created by Almanac founder David Young in 1818.