The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy winter for western Montana and the greater Pacific Northwest, while eastern Montana will face a milder and wetter winter than normal.
The almanac, founded in 1792, released its annual winter forecast earlier this month. Publishers of the almanac use a “secret” formula to make predictions that includes information about sunspots, planetary positions and tidal patterns. The publishers have said that the formula is accurate 80 percent of the time.
While western Montana, Idaho, Utah, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington will have a cold and snowy winter, further west the almanac predicts a cold and dry winter. The almanac is predicting a wet winter for much of the south and a wet and snowy winter for the Northeast. The upper Midwest will have a mild and dry winter.
Bob Nester, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula, said early forecasts call for above normal precipitation through February.
In the immediate future, Nester said western Montana can expect above normal precipitation in the coming week, with rain in the valleys and snow in the mountains through the first week of October.