Here’s a cool question at the end of a brutally hot summer: When’s it going to cool down and maybe even snow?

Like so many questions, it depends on who you’re asking. And this far ahead of winter, there are three competing voices chiming in: The Farmer’s Almanac, The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the National Weather Service.

They tell very different stories.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center issued a three-month forecast covering December 2022 through February 2023 that says Washington and the upper part of Oregon will be below normal when it comes to temperature. The southern part of the country — clear up to Idaho’s southern border and dipping down to just above Texas before sweeping up to encompass the entire East Coast — will be above-normal temperature-wise.

Everything in between has “equal chance” of being hotter or colder or maybe the same as usual. How’s that for a prediction?

As for precipitation, the Idaho panhandle and the areas of Montana and Washington that border it can expect more precipitation than usual, as can the area around the Great Lakes. The southern third of the continental United States, pretty much straight across, will see below-normal precipitation. And other areas — you guessed it — could see more or less precipitation.

The Farmer’s Almanac, as the Deseret News previously reported, says we can expect to “shake, shiver and shovel” this winter.

“The first bite of winter should come earlier than last year’s. December 2022 looks stormy and cold nationwide with an active storm pattern developing and hanging around for most of the season over the eastern half of the country,” the almanac says.

It’s predicting big snow the first week of January in the Rockies and Plains states, with “good potential for heavy snow that may reach as far south as Texas and Oklahoma.” Then bitter cold.

What’s in the Farmers’ Almanac forecast for this winter?

That almanac says that Jan. 16-23 is likely to bring “heavy rain and snow across the eastern two-thirds of the country,” then icy blasts that could reach minus 40 degrees.

If you’re wondering about snow, that almanac predicts cold rain and slush in the south, lots of snow storms in the north-central states, more snow in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes area and heavy snow in the south-central states. The West Coast will see more snow than normal, while the Southwest will see less.

“A Tale of Two Winters” is how the Old Farmer’s Almanac describes what it thinks is coming.

“Depending on where you live, this will be the best of winters or memorable for all the wrong reasons,” editor Janice Stillman said in a press release. “One half of the country will deal with bone-chilling cold and loads of snow, while the other half may feel like winter never really arrives.”

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The western third of the country will be mild and mostly wet, with “mild snowy” patches, though sections of northern California, Oregon and Washington nearest the coast are expected to be mild and dry.

Southern sections starting about the middle of Texas will be cold and dry, while Florida’s cold and wet. There's a band of cold and dry that starts in the eastern half of Colorado and swoops up through the northern Great Lakes that’s cold and dry. Everything else is predicted to be cold and snowy, except a small section of New England that will be mild and wet.

So what can we expect this winter?

It’s too soon to tell.

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