As we survive the steamy, hot summer, some Iowans may find solace in pondering the cooler weather of the inevitable change in seasons, but the new edition of the Farmers’ Almanac predicts anything but a mild winter ahead.
Editor Peter Geiger says the winter forecast map carries just five words floating over Iowa and the Midwest: “Hibernation Zone, Glacial, Snow-Filled.” Geiger says the publication is calling for an exceptionally snowy, extremely cold winter for 2022-’23.
“When we look at the predictions, we talk about some snow in late October, but then we talk about it being heavy snow on Thanksgiving. We talk about significant snow after that. We talk about heavy snow on the 1st, 4th and 7th of December,” Geiger says. “It’s going to be one of those unrelenting kind of winters where you dream about how nice it is when it’s hot in the summer.”
While parts of Iowa have seen triple-digit heat indices multiple times this summer, Geiger says the winter before us will prove to be equally extreme.
“What really scares me about the winter is the cold,” Geiger says. “So we talk about this sharp cold, maybe as low as minus-40. I don’t think it’s going to be minus-40 in Iowa, but within the region, you’re going to see some really cold temperatures almost from the middle of January through the early part of February, and then some snow even in March.”
The new edition of the almanac is due on store shelves August 15th and Geiger says it will include tips for coping with the predicted high cost to heat our homes during the frigid months.
“For example, you can use bubble wrap. If you spray a window with water and then put bubble wrap on, it insulates the window for the winter,” Geiger says. “I mean, it’s very simple, very inexpensive but it’s very possible.”
Founded in 1818, the Lewiston, Maine-based almanac boasts a forecast accuracy rate of 75-to-85-percent which Geiger says is derived from a formula developed more than two centuries ago.
“It’s based upon sunspot activity, planet positions, the effect the moon has on the earth, and we actually have a page in this year’s almanac that talks a little bit about how we go about doing it,” Geiger says. “When we say it’s going to be minus-40 degrees, I think it’s an indication of how potentially cold it could be, as opposed to the fact that you can count on minus-40.”
In addition to weather predictions, the Farmers’ Almanac contains all sorts of information on gardening, cooking, home remedies, folklore, managing your household, living in harmony with nature, and more.