Farmer's Almanac history: Will Cleveland really have a snowier winter?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting a warmer than normal winter for Northeast Ohio this year, but can it be trusted?

Winter will be warmer than normal, with slightly above-normal precipitation. The coldest periods will be in early to mid-December, early January, and mid-February. Snowfall will be above normal in Ohio and below normal elsewhere, with the snowiest periods in early to mid-December, late December, early January, and early February.

The Almanac does provide an explanation as to how it comes up with long ranger forecasts.

Long-range predictions show weather trends in temperatures and precipitation. For example, will the winter be colder or warmer than average? Will there be more or less snow than what's typical for your area?  Our famous predictions (traditionally 80 percent accurate) are made 18 months in advance, and meant to help you make more informed decisions for long-term planning.

As for accuracy last year would be considered a swing and a miss. The outlook for 2017 predicted "numbing cold and snowy."

Cleveland 19 Chief Meteorologist Jason Nicholas says they missed the mark by quite a but.

"Last year the almanac was forecasting a numbingly cold winter for us, and instead we had near record warmth," he said.

As for trusting it this year?

"You're better off flipping a coin than to use the almanac. It's entertaining yes, but not accurate over time," warns Nicolas.

Follow Dan DeRoos on Facebook and Twitter. Have a question you want him to answer? Email him at

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.