CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- As the Lowcountry grapples with a sweltering summer, some may be longing for winter. Well, according to Farmers’ Almanac, those yearning for cooler temperatures could get their wish this season.
The publication recently released its extended weather forecast for the 2023-2024 winter and is predicting a “chilled, wet” season for the southeastern region of the United States.
“The Southeast and Florida will see a wetter-than-normal winter, with average winter temperatures overall, but a few frosts may send many shivers to snowbirds trying to avoid the cold and snow back home,” the publication predicts.
Forecasters also said that “unseasonably cold temperatures” are expected to blow into southeast states in mid-February.
The Farmers’ Almanac is a periodical that shares information on gardening, forecasts for skywatchers, and extended forecasts.
The publication’s website says its forecasters have relied on a “mathematical and astronomical” secret formula created by the Almanac’s first editor in 1818 to make predictions rather than using satellites or weather tracking equipment.
“The formula takes into consideration things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, the position of the planets, and a variety of other factors,” the website states.
Just how accurate are the Almanac’s predictions?
Last year, the Farmers’ Almanac predicted the southeastern U.S. would see a “shivery, wet, and slushy” winter.
Temperatures across the Lowcountry were chilly between November and February but still averaged several degrees above normal. As for precipitation, the area saw less than average rainfall for every month except December which saw about two inches above average precipitation, according to Storm Team 2 meteorologists.
The Almanac’s forecasters also predicted that cold temperatures would be especially prevalent in January, however, December was actually the coldest with six freezes that month. The first freeze happened on Dec. 18, 2022, according to Storm Team 2, which recorded 10 total freezes during the season.
December also brought the Lowcountry’s only multi-day cold snap where low temperatures stayed below freezing, falling to as low as 18 degrees on Christmas Eve.
So can we count on the Farmers’ Almanac for a reliable forecast? Storm Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Rob Fowler says probably not.
“It’s fun, but it’s impossible to predict the weather that far in advance,” he said.