KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Enjoy the summer heat while you can. The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a rough winter ahead.
The Farmer’s Almanac provides a forecast every year. Publishers said they decided to release winter predictions earlier than ever because of the extreme heat, drought, or torrential flooding that plagued different regions.
It warns this winter will be cold and snowy for people living in Kansas and Missouri.
While that describes many winters in the Kansas City area, the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a “hibernation zone” and uses “glacial, snow-filled” to describe what will be heading to the metro in a few short months.
States in the North Central part of the country may experience extremely cold temperatures. The Farmer’s Almanac predicts those temperatures could drop to 40 degrees below zero.
The frigid temperature is expected to stretch into Texas and Florida where the Farmer’s Almanac predicts “chilly” and “shivery” weather. A snowy winter is predicted for the eastern half of the country.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a similarly snowy prediction for winter.
“Depending on where you live, this will be the best of winters or memorable for all the wrong reasons,” Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, said. “One half of the U.S. will be dealing with bone-chilling cold and loads of snow, while the other half may feel like winter never really arrives.”
People who love winter in Kansas City are in the right location, according to the almanacs’ predictions.
Can you trust it?
But FOX4 Meteorologist Jacob Lanier disagrees with the almanacs’ methods of predicting winter weather. Lanier, who is trained as a weather professional with a meteorology degree, said the almanac uses broad, general statements to predict weather.
Lanier believes its too difficult to comprise focused forecasts months in advance. Lanier crunched numbers from the almanac’s last 10 forecasts for the Kansas City metro, and found the Farmer’s Almanac was correct only 35% of the time during that decade.
“We’ve had some winters that are warmer than normal or lower snowfall amounts than normal. The Farmers Almanac is always coming out saying it’s going to be snowier and colder than normal, that’s not necessarily always the case,” Lanier said Friday.
While the Farmer’s Almanac forecast has many talking, Kansas City leaders aren’t as concerned.
Sherae Honeycutt, a spokesperson for Kansas City’s Department of Public Works, said preparations for the coming winter began in May.
Honeycutt said city salt piles are already home to 38,000 tons of gritty salt ready for winter roads, and, as usual, city employees who are currently filling potholes and mowing grass will drive snowplows.
“Every winter is different, and while we have aspects like the Farmers’ Almanac and things like that that give clues as to how the winter will go, we really don’t know what will happen until the winter starts. Once we see those forecasts, once we’re able to look at that, then we know what we need,” Honeycutt said.
Almanac aside, an Evergy spokesperson said the utility company uses professional weather services to forecast winter concerns.
Evergy is part of the Southwest Power Pool, and according to Andrew Baker, that alliance can help avoid a repeat of early 2021. That’s when Winter Storm Uri hit Texas, and utility companies there needed to conduct emergency outages due to high demands.
“Being part of the SPP is a true benefit to customers that offers reliability when we do see these extreme temperatures,” Baker said. “When we see the warm we saw a couple of weeks ago, and then, the Kansas City winter temperatures here. Being part of the SPP provides that ability to provide grid stability when we see extreme temperatures.”
Baker said Evergy is always preparing for summer’s high heat as well as winter’s chill — both of which put high demand on power grids.
He said spring and fall are usually when maintenance is performed at power plants to ensure they’re ready — for whenever summertime turns to winter.