I bought a copy of the latest Old Farmer’s Almanac for 2013, which marks the publication’s 221st anniversary. My mom brought a copy home every year and as a kid I read them assuming they were the definitive truth. The publisher says that it has a record of “80 percent–accurate weather forecasts.”

It contains weather predictions for every day, climatic trends for each season, information on how a low sunspot cycle could influence conditions in the coming years, astronomical data and viewing recommendations for astronomical events every month. It also has home remedies, gardening tips (including gardening by the Moon) and recipes including readers’ best bacon dishes.

And now, as we prepare to start autumn, what are the predictions for the upcoming winter?

I always check out the long-range forecast first. The astronomical winter (Northern Hemisphere) begins December 21, 2012 and ends March 19, 2013. The Almanac says that temperatures will be much colder this winter in Paradelle and from the East Coast westward to a line from the Dakotas to Texas. If you live west of this line, except for portions of the Desert Southwest, temperatures will be warmer than last winter. Snowfall be will below normal in most locations that have snow.

via http://www.farmersalmanac.com/forum/2012/07/23/new-official-2012-2013-united-states-winter-forecast/

Some good weather news is that those Midwestern areas suffering from drought during this past summer should receive enough winter precipitation to help things get back to normal.bring improvement.

The Farmer’s Almanac is not the only weather predictor. I checked what AccuWeather.com predicted last year for the very mild winter we experienced:

The AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team is predicting another brutally cold and snowy winter for a large part of the country…

A number of sites base predictions on the El Nino weather phenomenon. This winter it will bring weather havoc from North and South America to Asia, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center. El Nino is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific that occurs every four to 12 years, affecting crops from Asia to the Americas and reducing the chances of storms forming in the Atlantic basin during the hurricane season that runs to November 30.

So, what can we really expect? It will be cooler next week as we start autumn. It will get even colder when we reach winter. Some places will get snow. And you can take that to the bank.