By Chris Edwards
EAST TEXAS – Days with triple-digit-plus highs have been the norm for most of the summer, and the National Weather Service issued, on Sunday, a weeklong excessive heat warning.
Such factors likely have many folks in the area wondering if relief is anywhere in sight. One glimmer of hope could be found in The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which released its 2023-24 winter forecast this week.
According to the Almanac’s website, predictions show Texas to be unusually cold and stormy this year in the wintertime.
The extended winter forecast published to the Almanac website stated “The BRRR is back,” and that “[w]inter weather is making a comeback,” following a warm winter anomaly last year, nationwide.
In its overview of the country’s different regions, the Almanac predicted that Texans “will need to bundle up, as unseasonably cold weather is forecast throughout January and February, with a possible major winter storm in mid-January.”
The Almanac states that its forecasts are based on a mathematical and astronomical formula. Reportedly, the publication’s methodology is a closely guarded secret, and Almanac forecasters have denied using any satellites or weather-tracking equipment, but the formula, a secret, was created by an astronomer/mathematician in 1918.
Although the winter season officially begins on Thursday, Dec. 21, the meteorological winter season begins the first day of December. The Almanac predicts that along with unseasonably cold Texas winter weather, neighboring states, such as New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas, will receive plentiful snowfall, and in some areas, possible blizzard conditions.
Last winter’s predictions from the Almanac called for a chilly season with normal precipitation in most of Texas.
The Texas Department of Emergency Management did report statewide below-freezing conditions in late December of 2022.
The Almanac’s summation of the season states that indications of an El Nino (an abnormally high-water temperature off the Pacific Coast of South America) will be brewing in the latter half of the year, and last until the winter of 2024. This could mean that cold temperatures could occur nationwide, with snow, sleet and ice.
At present, there is a rare La Nina pattern, which sees warmer and drier weather, and the NOAA Climate Prediction Center gives the odds of continuation of this pattern at 62-66% through the early winer.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been in publication annually since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in the country. It is published every September, and features a variety of information, including forecasts, planting charts, recipes, feature stories and folklore.
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