Worst weather will be in ... well, most of winter.

One bad thing you can do for your state of mind is to read a long-range forecast for winter when summer is just ending.

It sort of makes you miss autumn entirely.

"October will be warmer than normal, with below-normal precipitation."

See what nice weather you could look forward to if you didn't skip ahead a few pages in The Old Farmers' Almanac and see a chart indicating that snow in January, February, March and even April will be higher than normal. And temperatures, while above normal for the season, still will be cold many of the weeks of winter.

"The coldest periods will be in early to mid- and late January, early February, mid- to late February, and early March," say the Farmer's Almanac people.

Isn't that most of winter?

I should have stuck to reading the chart that said temperature would be above average and precipitation below average in October, and continued to grin like a ninny in my ignorance of the future.

Inside Source

But, no, since I have an "in" with the weather forecasters at The Old Farmers' Almanac, I learn the long-range forecasts early. I'm on the almanac's email list and as summer draws to a close each year they send out a press release looking ahead to what the Almanac predicts for the colder months.

"If you didn’t like last winter, you may want to stop reading right now," they warned in their email. "The 2020 Farmers' Almanac's extended weather forecast is calling for a 'Polar Coaster Winter' with plenty of frigid temperatures and snow for a majority of the country."

Indeed, "'freezing, frigid, and frosty' are the exact terms used to describe the upcoming season, especially for areas east of the Rockies all the way to the Appalachians," the Almanac's news release indicated. And, Pete Geiger, the almanac's editor, admitted that much of the season would be "teeth-chattering."

“We expect yet another wild ride this winter,” said Geiger. “with extreme temperatures swings and some hefty snowfalls.”

The almanac labeled Geiger as a "philom," which means "lover of learning." Personally, I didn't particularly appreciate learning that "the Almanac calls for above-normal winter precipitation over the eastern third of the country as well as the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Great Lakes."

"The Farmers' Almanac extended forecast forewarns of not only a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain, sleet."

It was a pretty complete forecast. The only thing it really didn't include was an offer by Geiger to help shovel my driveway.

Valued Almanac

Granted, this is a long-range forecast. Stuff happens in the sky over time. Weather changes as the season is extended.

But, I'm an avid reader of The Old Farmers' Almanac. I trust its tips and its weather predictions. Some of the time, the forecasts and the advice are paired.

"This year's edition also contains life hacks and natural remedies on ways to melt ice more naturally," the promotional email I received said, before noting that other tips include information on how to "use salt as a cure for common ailments, plus trivia about who invented the first diet, what bugs are safe and tasty to eat, how animals survive extreme weather, and tons of gardening tips and best days to fish."

This kind of folksy reading material is why my parents — and their parents before them — always had The Old Farmers' Almanac hanging around the house. And I mean it literally was hanging, in the bathroom, near where business is done.

At the home of my grandparents on my father's side, who during my youngest years did not have indoor plumbing, the Almanac hung in an outdoor privy. I believe that's when I began to seriously look at the Almanac's weather predictions.

In an outhouse in the dead of winter temperature becomes important.