2014 Farmer's Almanac promises "Refriger-nation"

Get ready for a cold winter and a hot summer!

By Blake Mathews - Meteorologist
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CONCORD, NH - Get ready for the "super-cold." According to the Farmer's Almanac, this coming winter will make the United States a "refrigi-nation."

While it may seem as though the summer of 2014 has been brutal the reality of it is, it hasn't. In fact, it's been almost a year without Summer for much of the United States. 

For example, check out the picture at the top taken on August 15th in northern Michigan. It was taken by meteorologist Shawn Householder. He was able to write "Frost" on the top of his car in the dead middle of Summer. Leaves also reportedly have started changing already in the Pittsburgh area.

Even in Jacksonville, where August has been sweltering, most of the Summer (June and July) were actually below normal and August so far, has been about a degree above normal.

The Old Farmer's Almanac, the familiar, 223-year-old chronicler of climate, folksy advice and fun facts, is predicting a colder winter and warmer summer for much of the nation.

Published Wednesday, the New Hampshire-based almanac predicts a "super-cold" winter in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The west will remain a little bit warmer than normal.

"Colder is just almost too familiar a term," Editor Janice Stillman said. "Think of it as a refriger-nation."

More bad news for those who can't stand snow: Most of the Northeast is expected to get more snowfall than normal, though it will be below normal in New England.

Before unpacking the parka, however, remember that "colder than average" is still only about 2 to 5 degrees difference.

Some other regional highlights:

- Florida's winter could be rainier than most years while other locales in the Southeast and central states will see less rain.

- Summer will be warmer than usual in most places while a drop in rainfall in the country's midsection could hurt crop yields.

- Despite some winter downpours in the west, the almanac says California's drought will likely continue.

- Hurricane season isn't expected to be especially active though a major storm could hit the Gulf Coast in late August.

For loyal readers of an almanac that also tracks to the minute every sunrise and sunset for the year, the timing of this year's publication may come as a surprise. Normally, it hits the stands in mid-September. In recent years, its younger cousin, the Maine-based Farmer's Almanac, has published in August and a competition of sorts has emerged, though Stillman said it had nothing to do with the earlier drop date.

"We've found that folks want the almanac as soon as the issue is done up, right as the growing season is done," she said. "It's also time to order oil, wood, salt for roads. We've had so many inquiries we just decided to get it into people's hands earlier."

The almanac, which has about an 80 percent success rate in its forecasts, employs modern technology but still uses the "secret formula" that founder Robert Thomas devised in 1792. By combining the study of sunspots, prevailing weather patterns and basic meteorology, the almanac's weather staff comes up with a long-range forecast. The temperature deviations are based on 30-year averages compiled by government forecasters.

The almanac also provides advice on planting, astronomy, food, love and trends.

Copyright 2014 by News4Jax.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.