LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Every year, the Farmers Almanac comes out with its winter forecast that tries to predict what to expect for the upcoming winter. What does that mean for Arkansas this winter?
The extended winter forecast from the Farmers Almanac focuses on whether the temperature will be above or below average and if we will see above or below normal precipitation.
The Farmers Almanac’s 2022 – 2023 extended winter forecast for Arkansas calls for a “Chilly near normal precipitation” winter. The forecast is pretty vague, but it basically is saying they expect a cooler than average winter with normal rain/snow amounts.
What does this mean? Well, Southwest Arkansas normally sees high temperatures in the 50s with lows in the 30s from December through February. According to the Farmers Almanac, we may see more days in the 40s than days in the 60s.
When it comes to precipitation, Southwest Arkansas normally sees about 3.5″ of snow/ice in both December and January each winter. The Farmers Almanac says we will see something close to that.
But how accurate is this forecast? For winter 2021 – 2022, the Famers Almanac said Arkansas will get “Chilled to the bone, with near-normal precipitation.” This is also pretty vague, but it sounds like the forecast was for well below average temperatures with normal rain/snow totals.
Looking at the data from last winter, we saw temperatures that were well above average, with the winter finishing 4.4° above normal. As for precipitation, we did see normal amounts of rain and snow.
In conclusion, their forecast was not accurate, but it is nearly impossible to make an accurate forecast this far in advance.
Last Fall, we at the KARK Arkansas Storm Team made a winter forecast, and we said it would be warmer than normal with slightly above average precipitation. We got the temperatures part correct, but we were a little off by forecasting above-average precipitation.
It is still too early for us at the KARK Arkansas Storm Team to make our winter forecast. We will make one in late October or November.