Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Is Wisconsin in for a 'polar coaster' this winter? Here's what the experts say

From JSOnline:

Abby O'Brien, left, and Spencer Couser shovel snow from their sidewalk during a January snowstorm in Manitowoc. (Photo: Joshua Clark/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)   

As a pleasant summer draws slowly to a close, the 2020 Farmers' Almanac released a prediction Monday that would send a chill through even the most hearty Wisconsinite's bones. 

The periodical's secret formula called for a "polar coaster," its website promising "another winter ride, full of thrills and chills."

That means above-normal winter precipitation over the Midwest and temperatures plunging across the northern Plains into the Great Lakes region. For those of us who remember last winter's volatility, it certainly seems foreboding. 

But what sort of stock can be put into the Almanac's prediction? How much should we fear this impending polar coaster? 

Wisconsin's weather experts say not so much. 

"The weather part of (the Farmers' Almanac) is a joke," said Jonathan Martin, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "It's good for their marketing, but there's no science behind it."

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