What can we expect for winter? Old Farmer’s Almanac releases annual long-range forecast

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Predicting the weather isn’t always an exact science, but the folks at the Old Farmer’s Almanac will again take their best shot at predicting what’s in store for winter.

The publication, which touts itself as “North America’s oldest continuously published periodical,” released its long-term forecast for the winter.

For the Lower Lakes Region, which includes Indianapolis and points north, the almanac predicts a warmer than average winter with above-normal precipitation. Snowfall, on the other hand, is projected to be below normal.

What about the rest of 2017? The almanac says to expect a warmer and slightly drier than normal spring, with a cooler, rainier summer and slightly cooler and wetter weather in the fall.

For the Ohio Valley Region, which includes points south of Indianapolis, the almanac predicts a warmer than normal winter with slightly below normal precipitation. Snowfall is projected to be below normal.

For spring, expect temperatures to be warmer than normal with above normal amounts of precipitation. Summer is projected to be cooler and slightly drier than normal, with more rainfall than normal projected for fall along with near-normal temperatures.

The almanac’s original editor, Robert B. Thomas, published the first edition in 1792. Thomas came up with a “secret formula” based on sunspots that has been updated throughout the years as scientists learn more about the way the world works.

The almanac claims its predictions are 80 percent accurate.