Weather is strange


Carter Steger, Assistant Editor

he Farmer’s Almanac was first published in 1818. It is currently distributed by Geiger Bros. Corporation of Lewiston, Maine since 1949. The purpose of the Farmer’s Almanac’s is to make predictions of long-term weather patterns. It covers a wide geographical range from the United States to Canada. Every year, a new edition is published predicting the coming year’s weather.  

In Wisconsin, many residents are taking notice of atypical weather. One local family, who wished to remain anonymous, commented, “We’ve lived here for our entire lives. For the last several years, winter hasn’t really been winter. We’re lucky even if we get a snowy Christmas. Twenty years ago, there would be snow and cold weather starting around October and lasting until spring. Now, we get a chilly morning and shorts weather in the afternoons. It’s not normal.” 

Unusual weather in Wisconsin is certainly something to note. The Farmer’s Almanac Winter Weather Forecast for 2022-2023 describes this strange pattern as “A Tale of Two Winters because the weather this winter will split the country in two.” It warns, “Your region will be very cold or mild.” “Split the country in two” is in reference to geographically-themed weather patterns for the winter season. Almanac writer Janic Stillman notes, “One half of the country will deal with bone-chilling cold and loads of snow, while the other half may feel like winter never really arrives.”    

A possible explanation for this weather is that the “Recent Solar Cycle 24 had the lowest level of solar activity in more than 100 years. We are now early in Cycle 25, which is expected to peak around July 2025 and also bring diminished activity, which historically has meant cooler temperatures, on average, across Earth.” If the Almanac’s claim holds true, this weather pattern will continue for a few more years. 

 The Almanac also tells what areas in the United States should expect temperatures warmer than normal, saying, “Winter temperatures will be milder than normal across eastern Maine, from the Rockies to the West Coast, and across Alaska and Hawaii.” It also notes precipitation levels: “Precipitation will be above normal from Maine to southeastern Virginia, in Florida, and from the lower Great Lakes into Missouri.” Wisconsin residents should expect more snowfall and colder temperatures this winter. One section, titled “Or Tale of Shivery and Snowy,” reads, “Snowfall will be greater than normal from central New England through northern North Carolina, from the Lower Great Lakes. Winter temperatures will be colder than normal across much of the country between the East Coast and Rockies.” 

This year’s predictions for Wisconsin weather mean residents should be prepared. One La Crosse resident commented, “I always make sure I have a warm hat, pair of gloves, and coat for winter here. It’s not the arctic, but some days the weather here sure likes to do its best impression of it.” When asked about vehicle tips, they said, “For starters, you must have an ice scraper. You cannot even think about driving your car in the winter here without one—regardless of the snowfall.” Ice scrapers aside, they added, “Start your car at least once a day in the winter. When it gets cold, it’s good to let your car run for a few minutes each day.”  

Wisconsin winters can be harsh, but taking the proper steps can make it bearable. Proper clothing and car care go a long way to making it through the cold weather, especially in a year when lower temperatures and higher snowfalls are expected.