Apparently, This is Going to Be A Terrible Winter

by Jenny Hollander

Make the most of last weekend? We hope so, because it was the final one of August, otherwise known, ominously, as the 'Last Weekend Of Summer.' More good news: This winter will be teeth-chatteringly, jaw-tremblingly, finger-numbingly cold.

At least, that's what the Farmer's Almanac is promising.

Out next Monday, the Almanac is throwing around phrases like "piercing cold," "bitterly cold" and "biting cold" to describe this winter. We kinda suspected that the season might have cold periods, but the Almanac predicts below-average temperature drops, and heavy snowfall beating down on the Midwest, the Great Lakes, and New England. And the Feb. 2 Super Bowl will be hit by storm flurries, and become the — wait for it — "Storm Bowl." Better copyright that one, Almanac.

But how much stock should we put in the Almanac? The 200-year-old publication boasts that its accuracy rate is more than 80 percent, but independent researchers and climate experts have dismissed it as little more than a shot in the dark. Its formula has changed little in all of two centuries, basing its predictions on tides, planet positions, sunspots, lunar cycles, and werewolves. (One of the above isn't true. Can you guess which one?)

The guy in charge of predictions, Caleb Weatherbee — no, not a joke on our part — told AP that he was "off by only a couple of days" about last winter's two biggest storms. Last year's edition said that eastern and central America would be cold, and the western U.S. much milder. This proved to be accurate towards the end of winter, which is something. Hurricane Sandy didn't crop up during predictions, but you can't have it all.

We'll say it again:

Even if the Almanac fails us, we trust Sean Bean. Get those UV lamps ready.