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Farmer's Almanac predicts a whopper of a winter

Alton, Virginia on March 25, 2018 (Lee Vernon)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The 2019 Farmer’s Almanac was published Monday, and with it comes a hotly (or coldly, as the case may be) anticipated bit of meteorological prognosticating: the Almanac’s yearly winter predictions.

"Contrary to some stories floating around on the internet, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing towards a very long, cold and snow-filled winter," Farmer’s Almanac editor Peter Geiger said in a statement. "We stand by our forecast and formula, which accurately predicted most of the winter storms last year as well as this summer’s steamy, hot conditions."

Utilizing its mathematical and astronomical formula that Geiger said was developed in 1818, the winter of 2018 and 2019 will feature "arctic air, blustery, bitter winds, sharp drops in temperatures, and widespread snow showers and squalls," with a particularly nasty snowstorm predicted for March 20-23.

Geiger said it’s likely that snow will begin in December and wintry conditions will delay the onset of spring into late March.

And that is something Jim Saunders, from Saunders Brothers in Nelson County, said is a good thing for crops on his family's farms.

At Saunders Brothers, some of the crops they farm are peaches, apples, pears and nectarines.

"If those peach blooms are tight, it means that we will not lose the fruit crop and that means we've got lots of these [peaches] next year," Saunders said.

Saunders said if winter can stay cold and snowy until late March, his crops will flourish in the spring and summer.

Frigid weather is expected in mid-February, which could bring blustery and bitter winds and widespread snow showers, including for Virginia's zone (southeast region).

Above-normal precipitation is also in the forecast for the Southwest region during December 2018, and for the Southeast in January and February 2019.

Significant snowfalls are also predicted for parts of all seven zones.

More important, however, is the fact that it’s not even Labor Day, and now we’re already thinking about winter. Not fair, Farmer’s Almanac. Not fair.

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