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November 20, 2013

Farmer’s Almanac predicts wet, snowy winter

CLAREMORE — Locally-grown persimmon fruits, cut open at the beginning of the month, displayed a spoon-shaped kernel.

According to folklore, a spoon-shaped kernel means a large amount of heavy, wet snow is in store for the upcoming winter season. Some may call the prediction method a “joke,” however, other weather forecast sources are predicting similar conditions.

According to the 2013-14 Old Farmer’s Almanac, Northeast Oklahoma residents are expected to see wet and chilly temperatures with “wild” temperature swings and periods of stormy weather.

Cold weather periods are suspected to occur in late December, mid-Januaray and much of February. The snowiest months being mid-January and February.

First published in 1792, the Farmer’s Almanac used sun spots or magnetic storms on the surface of the sun. Today, the book predicts weather trends by comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity.

David Unger, National Weather Service forecast meteorologist, said the NWS predicts long-range forecasts based on signals from El Niño, ocean temperature changes and soil moisture conditions.

According to the National Weather Service, during the month of October, the Pacific Ocean reflected near-average sea surface temperatures (SST) across much of the Pacific Ocean, which means there is not much chance for El Niño to occur.

Due to this year being a weak El Niño year, Oklahoma is expected to have a wet winter, said Unger. Since Oklahoma is on the dividing line of either above normal or below normal temperatures, meteorologists cannot make exact forecasts, however, a general outlook shows eastern Oklahoma is expected to have a wet and cold season.

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