Here in the Kansas, it’s been a tumultuous year weather-wise. We had a blizzard back at the beginning of February. In July, temperatures were 100-plus for almost an entire month. Nationally, tornadoes ravaged locations seemingly further east in our country than ever before, and one vicious twister annihilated the community of Joplin, Missouri, just a couple hours southeast of us. Droughts and floods, both, hit our farmers. So, in thinking about national weather predictions for next year, I recently turned to the Farmers' Almanac 2012 to see what we're in for.
It was with a hopeful yet wary eye that I flipped through the pages of the 2012 Farmers’ Almanac as it came across my desk. Fans of the Farmers’ Almanac – a 195-year-old weather-predicting publication – say the long-range forecasts are accurate between 80 and 85 percent of the time. Bottom line, this thing is worth a look on a yearly basis. If you're interested or skeptical, take a look at our Farmers' Almanac 2011 weather forecast and evaluate last year's predictions for yourself.
For the 2012 winter forecast, conditions are going to be wetter than normal. The 2012 Farmers’ Almanac calls it “Clime and Punishment,” meaning some parts of the United States will see a very frigid winter, while others can expect lots of rain and snow. The Northern Plains, parts of the Northern Rockies, and the western Great Lakes can expect a very cold winter, while the southern and eastern United States are expected to see above-average temperatures.
The Midwest, Far West and southern Florida can expect average temperatures, although I’m not quite sure what average is anymore. I guess here in Kansas we’ll see a few days when it’s unbearable to go outside, and some people might be out tending to a cold frame in short sleeves and shorts in December.
Precipitation seems to be the main theme of the Farmers’ Almanac 2012 forecast, though. The publication predicts a very active storm track, which will bring heavier-than-normal precipitation – in whatever form – from the Southern Plains through Tennessee into Ohio, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast. Depending on what the temperatures are in your area, this weather forecast could mean extra time with salt on your roads, or a messy mudroom when you peel off your coveralls after coming back inside from the rain or mixed precipitation after chopping ice for the cattle.
The only areas of the country for which the 2012 Farmers’ Almanac predicts dryer than normal conditions are in the Southwest and the Southeast.
Next summer, we’re looking at another hot and dry one here in the Great Plains, while the Great Lakes and Midwest region may actually see above-average precipitation. And look out for the twisters from late May into June.
Aside from the 2012 weather forecast, the Farmers’ Almanac for the coming year also offers articles on cool topics like which 10 U.S. cities are most likely to be completely shut down by weather, how the average person can use the clouds to make their own weather forecast, and sustainable living.
“The need for a more sustainable, healthy, and affordable lifestyle continues to grow as does the need for the Farmers’ Almanac to share its wisdom, tips and ideal,” says Peter Geiger, Editor. “And in this crazy economy the need to live life a bit more wisely is not just a desire but a dire need.”
The 2012 Farmers’ Almanac officially hit store shelves August 29, and you can get your copy at the Farmers’ Almanac store right here for $5.99.
Caleb Regan and his wife, Gwen, live in rural Douglas County, Kansas, where they enjoy hunting, fishing, and raising and growing as much of their own food as they can. Caleb can’t imagine a better scenario than getting to work on a rural lifestyle magazine as a profession, and then living that same lifestyle right in the heartland of America. Connect with him on Google+.