Farmer's Almanac predicts 'Polar Coaster' of frigid temperatures, snow

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Make sure you enjoy the last days of summer because a cold, bitter winter is reportedly on the way. The 2020 Farmer's Almanac claims the Dakotas are in for a nasty winter.

Most of the country will be blasted with many ups and downs on the thermometer like a 'polar coaster,’ which means frigid temperatures and above-average snowfall.

Last year’s winter was record-breaking when the polar vortex swept through the Midwest in late January. We can't forget about the two consecutive years of April blizzards, but meteorologists aren't on the same page as this year's Farmer's Almanac.

Some South Dakotans say it's just another winter, they're used to it!

"Bring on winter, but not yet," Robert Steger said.

"I think it's going to be normal. It’ll be fun either way," A Sioux Falls resident said.

And others aren’t feeling the snow moving in either.

"It's depressing, but it's just the way it goes," Sioux Falls resident, Amy Beek said.

Well, the 2020 Old Farmer's Almanac is telling everyone to grab a shovel and brace themselves.

"I’ve lived in Iowa and the Dakotas my whole life so it really doesn't make much difference to me anymore. You just get used to it," Beek said.

Hydrologist Mike Gillispie with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls is feeling apprehensive about these forecasts.

"There aren't very many specifics you're going to find in those kinds of outlooks," Gillispie said.

And KSFY's Chief Meteorologist Phil Schreck is right there with him.

"They claim that their accuracy is about 80 percent. I’m not sure what they base that on. I don't think it's quite that high," Schreck said.

The almanac saying it comes from a secret formula. From what Gillispie can see so far it's looking to be a neutral winter.

"This year the sea surface temperatures out in the Pacific Ocean are running pretty close to normal," Gillispie said.

But the almanac might be on to something.

"Because if they're saying a lot of snow that does correspond with the latest climate prediction center forecast of above-normal precipitation for the winter," Schreck said.

According to the Farmer's Almanac, the heartland can expect the coldest periods in early to mid-January and see heavy snow starting in mid-December.

"Well find me a winter where it's not frigid and snowy for at least part of the winter in the Dakotas," Gillispie said.

"You combine 20's with above-normal precipitation we could be ending up with a lot of snow," Schreck said.

The 2020 Old Farmer's Almanac just came out. You can get yours at a Wal-Mart in Sioux Falls.

Last year, the Farmer's Almanac's prediction was for a warmer, drier winter, but we saw a snowy one all the way through the April blizzard.