Farmer's Almanac calls for bitterly cold Michigan winter

(WXYZ) - A cold forecast is getting attention on a hot day.

The Farmer's Almanac  hits newstands today, and it is calling for a bitterly cold winter in the Midwest, including Michigan. 

The managing editor, Sandi Duncan, says "We're using a very strong four-letter word to describe this winter, which is C-O-L-D."  The Farmer's Almanac is also calling for a big storm to hit the northeast between February 1 and 3. 

The Super Bowl is set to be played at MetLife Stadium, outdoors in the Meadowlands in New Jersey, on February 2.  If the forecast is correct, it could wreak havoc on the biggest football day of the year.

The Farmer's Almanac, based in Maine, has been publishing long-range outlooks since 1818, using a "secret formula" based on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles. Modern meteorologists, including the First Alert Weather Team, don't use sunspots and lunar cycles in making long-range weather predictions. 

We do rely heavily on the work of the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.  The CPC updates winter 90 day forecasts, for the months of December, January and February, near the middle of each month.  These forecasts are based on not-so-secret estimations of how things like sea surface temperatures and global jet stream patterns affect weather. 

Their latest forecast calls for the winter months to average WARMER than normal in Michigan and for precipitation, a combination of rain and snow, to be about average.  By the way, average snowfall for a winter season in Detroit is close to 40 inches.

So, as far as temperatures, it looks like one of these two sources is going to be more correct than the other.  But it's still possible for a big storm to hit the northeast on February 2 even if overall seasonal snowfall is close to normal. 

It's also possible that you'll hear another almanac forecast to get some attention soon.  The Old Farmer's Almanac, based in New Hampshire, is a totally separate publication and it could put out a completely different winter outlook when it is published next month. 

Confused yet?  Don't be.  Stick close to 7 First Alert Weather.  We may not give you a forecast for February 1-3 yet, but we're proven, always available, and we have no secrets.

Follow Chris Edwards on Twitter at twitter.com/edwardswxwxyz

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