As if last year’s Polar Vortex was not enough, the Farmers’ Almanac predicts a “Polar Coaster” this coming winter. The forecasted Polar Coaster describes a season with temperature swings and colder-than-usual weather in many parts of the US. “This winter will be filled with so many ups and downs on the thermometer,” says the Farmers’ Almanac website, “it may remind you of a ‘Polar Coaster’… Our extended forecast is calling for yet another freezing, frigid, and frosty winter for two-thirds of the country.”
The Almanac forecasted that the area from east of the Rockies to the Appalachians will experience the worst of this winter’s bitterly low temperatures, with the northern Plains and Great Lakes getting the biggest drops. The Northeast can also look forward to “colder-than-normal temperatures for much of the upcoming winter.” Altogether, the biggest temperature dip is predicted for the final week of January through the beginning of February. If you live west of the Rockies, however, you won’t see any major variations this winter.
Given how difficult it is to predict the weather, even a day or two in advance, many experts are skeptical of the Almanac’s forecast. Dave Hennen, CNN’s senior meteorologist, said back in 2016 that the Farmers’ Almanac’s weather predictions shouldn’t be taken too seriously. “It’s difficult enough to do a five-day forecast,” he said. “We’re really good at the day of and the next day, and we’re better at temperature a ways out than precipitation. But to forecast out that far in advance… even the science behind our long-range forecasting is sometimes not that solid.”
We’ll just have to just wait and see if we’re going to ride the “Polar Coaster” this winter — and buy a heavier winter coat, just in case.