Enjoy the sweltering dog days of summer while you can, because this coming winter could be unforgiving, according to the Farmers’ Almanac.
The Lewiston-based Farmers’ Almanac is wagering that this winter will be stormy and cold for the Northeast. Whether that means massive drifts and deep snowbanks or slush and mush remains to be seen, according to the forecast released Tuesday morning.
The almanac’s most severe predictions are for the upper Midwest, where temperatures dropping as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit may send people “hibernating,” and Texas and Oklahoma, where heavy snow may await in January.
The almanac boasted its predictions for last October’s nor’easter and the April blizzard that battered Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. But Mainers may not need to start stockpiling Allen’s, bread, milk and rock salt.
Meteorologists and other weather watchers remain skeptical of the almanac’s methodology. A researcher from the University of Illinois compared the predictions from the Old Farmers’ Almanac — the Maine periodical’s chief competitor — to weather data over a five-year period and found it had about a 50 percent accuracy rate for precipitation and temperature forecasts, which the magazine Popular Mechanics called “essentially random chance.”