Every year since 1792, the Old Farmer's Almanac has been released the first Tuesday of September to reveal farmer-friendly information like weather predictions and planting charts. The Old Farmer's Almanac's first editor, Robert Thomas, created a secret weather forecasting formula using a "complex series of natural cycles" that was said to be 80 percent accurate. Although the predictions aren't perfect, they can still send shock waves across the country when they're released.
With its latest release, the whimsically written Almanac announced that this winter is looking pretty unpleasant, warning readers to get ready for "winter's wallop." The United States should expect cold through Valentine's Day and then some, as well as at least seven big snowstorms from coast to coast (two of those in the West in April).
While this news isn't great for people who hate winter, it's extremely useful for planning vacations. Here are five locations to visit before, after or even while the winter weather hits.
- Vancouver, before it gets "cold, wet"
The Old Farmer's Almanac is calling for above-average precipitation in Canada this winter. That may mean snow in some parts, and freezing rain and sleet in others parts, like British Columbia. The rainy cold might not prevent locals from running outdoors, but you'll probably prefer to see the city without the sleet, before or after winter shows up.
- New England, before it gets "wet & wild"
If a soggy, cold vacation doesn't sound appealing to you, get to New England before winter arrives. The Almanac predicts that "New England can bank on a slush fund, as 'more wet than white' conditions will leave sludgy messes that freeze during the overnights."
Plan to leaf-peep before the wrath of winter, aiming for a cider-filled October visit while the weather is still nice.
- Minneapolis, before (or during) the "parade of snowstorms"
Jump on your Minneapolis weekender before the "snow-verload" arrives. According to Old Farmer's Almanac Editor Janice Stillman, winter may feel never-ending, particularly in the Midwest, with frigid temperatures lasting well into the first days of spring.
On the other hand, a parade of snowstorms may sound pretty dreamy to you if you're from a snow-free area. In that case, plan your trip around Minneapolis's 134th Saint Paul Winter Carnival, running from Jan. 23 to Feb. 3, 2020.
- Utah, during "low temps, deep powder"
Winter-sport enthusiasts should be stoked by the almanac's prediction for the region including Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado: Expect prime snow conditions, thanks to low temperatures and deep powder predictions. Get your gear out of the attic, and get excited for visits to destinations like Park City.
- Seattle, but not when it's "wet (or worse!)"
This winter, Washington state is expected to get pummeled by storms. "This could mean a repeat of last winter's record-breaking extremes, including the Snowpocalypse that dumped 20.2 inches on Seattle in February," the almanac predicts. Instead of showing up for Seattle Snowpocalypse Part Deux, visit when you can better enjoy walking around Capitol Hill, like late summer and early fall.
This article was written by Natalie Compton, a reporter for The Washington Post.