Snow by Halloween? Inside Farmers' Almanac's Winter Predictions

Well, this is one spooky forecast.

The Farmers’ Almanac has predicted the Midwest will see the “return of the ice cold winter” this season, but it appears the details on that forecast prediction mean snow could arrive as early as Halloween.

According to the Almanac, October will start off stormy for many areas in the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, but by the end of the month, those storms could mix with some wet snow.

The Almanac goes on to predict another chance for snow in mid-November and continuing into December.

It’s not all bad news for those dreaming of a white Christmas, however.

Stormy winter weather is set to arrive in the Ohio Valley at the start of December, bringing accumulating snow. Those storms are expected to make their way into the Great Lakes area by Dec. 24, according to the predictions.

More snow is forecast for January and again in February, when temperatures are set to turn “bitter cold.”

“February is the month to really be ready for cold conditions,” Editor Peter Geiger, Philom, said in a statement. “According to our long-range outlook, many places will see downright frigid temperatures this month, some as low as 40 degrees below zero!”

Meanwhile, the Old Farmer's Almanac, which claims an 80 percent accuracy in its predictions, says while temperatures will be colder in most parts of the country, less snowfall will be seen overall. The exception will be the northern tier of the U.S., which "can expect to be blanketed in white," according to the old almanac.

While meteorologists warn that the long-range forecasts should be taken with a grain of salt—or should we say snowflake – the forecasts are somewhat in line with predictions that a La Nina event could develop this fall.

According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is a chance for a La Nina event to develop in the coming months, though researchers report “considerable uncertainty remains.” Many models favor a La Nina during the fall and winter, but forecasters predict it could be a weaker event.

La Nina is the opposite of El Nino and represents periods of below-average sea surface temperatures across the equatorial east and central Pacific Ocean. Last year, much of the Midwest saw a mild winter thanks in large part to a strong El Nino event and it’s not uncommon for La Nina conditions to follow an El Nino event.

If La Nina develops, it could mean changes in the weather for North America, though those changes will depend heavily on the strength of the weather event. According to the NOAA, winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest during La Nina.

If a La Nina event is strong enough, it could also mean above-average precipitation in the northern Midwest, which by winter could mean more snow.

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