Though winter remains many months away, it’s of continued concern for many in Texas after Winter Storm Uri swept through in February, plunging swaths of the state into subfreezing temperatures. For the first time in history, all 254 Texas counties were placed under a winter storm warning. Much of Texas’ power grid collapsed, causing a statewide crisis.
What’s in store for Texas this winter? Will the state experience another ice storm?
The Farmers’ Almanac released its 2021-22 winter weather outlook Wednesday, offering some early insight. The periodical forewarned of a “frosty flip flop Winter” during which “January will start out mild for much of the country but then turn cold and stormy, especially along the Atlantic Seaboard.”
For Texas, the almanac predicted cold and snowy conditions in late January, though “fortunately, they shouldn’t be as bad as last year.”
In it’s winter weather outlook, the periodical boasted that it accurately predicted the winter storm in February.
“The arctic outbreak in February 2021, which the Farmers’ Almanac accurately predicted, brought frigid temperatures along with snow and ice to Texas and Oklahoma,” a release from the publication read.
Back in August 2020, the publication predicted a “temperamental” Texas winter defined by “a wild swing from mild and tranquil to cold and wintery.”
In a viral TikTok video posted during Winter Storm Uri, Tyler Froberg, managing director of Houston’s Hope Farms, stands in a snowy field and reads excerpts of the almanac’s February 15 to February 23 weather forecast for the south central United States. The short video is set to calming music comically at odds with the unease many Texans were then experiencing.
“Changeable skies getting colder. Heavy snow in eastern New Mexico, Oklahoma and all of Texas. Wintry mix through Arkansas, Louisiana,” the man reads.
The post was shared far and wide as proof of the almanac’s accuracy.
The almanac’s full weather forecast for the period reads as follows: “12-15: Changeable skies. 16-19: Clearing/colder. 20-23: Heavy snow eastern New Mexico, much of Oklahoma, Texas; wintry mix Arkansas, northern Louisiana. Showery southern Texas, Louisiana. Messy Mardi Gras.”
Note that Winter Storm Uri swept through the Southwest a bit earlier than the periodical predicted -- The almanac was off by a couple days. Whether the almanac can rightfully claim it accurately predicted the “the arctic outbreak in February 2021″ or not is up for debate. Regardless, we can all agree the forecast was uncannily close.
To make its predictions, the Farmers’ Almanac said it uses a “specific and reliable set of rules” developed back in 1818 by the the Almanac’s first editor, astronomer and mathematician David Young.
“These rules have been altered slightly and turned into a formula that is both mathematical and astronomical,” the almanac states on its website.
The American periodical has been in continuous publication since 1818 and provides long-range weather predictions. Each year, a new edition is released by September and contains 16 months of weather predictions broken into 7 U.S. climatic zones.