Winter in Montana will be colder and drier than normal, according to the forecasters at the Old Farmers Almanac.

Compare that with the National Weather Service official winter forecast.

KGVO spoke to Janice Stillman, editor of the 2022 Old Farmers Almanac to get her prediction for winter into spring for Missoula.

“We are predicting colder than normal temperatures where you folks are but below normal snowfall, calling it actually dry,” said Stillman. “So for example, for this month we've predicted in December that the average temperature would be about 32 degrees. We are predicting a snowy Christmas; not a storm but at least some flurries in the air. Just enough to get Santa into the house.”

Stillman then looked ahead to January and February, according to the Old Farmers Almanac.

“In January, we're predicting temperatures on average of about 30 degrees which is slightly below normal and snowy periods throughout the month,” she said. “It will be bitter cold by the way, as we go from the year 2021 to 2022, so that’s over New Year's Eve. February temperatures start to lift a little bit, It will be well over freezing or at least what we here in New England think of as well over freezing which would be about 37 degrees on average for the month which is about three degrees above normal for you.”

Stillman said there will be snow mixed with rain, so those who want to ski may have to head for higher terrain.

“So it'll be flurries a good part of the time mostly in January and occasionally in February but mixed with rain,” she said. “I guess it's not really going to be cold enough to give you a heavy snow. If folks like to go travel to the mountains and to the south in the ski areas, you will find some snow because I think folks will be making it. But generally speaking, it's going to be a relatively comfortable mild winter where you folks are; at least that's our forecast.”

Stillman gave details on how the Old Farmers Almanac forecasts winter throughout the country.

“We have a meteorologist who's been making our forecast since 1995,” she said. “He is trained in long range forecasting. And in fact, he has been a ‘weather nut’ as they say since high school when he was making forecasts. But we use three scientific disciplines. We use solar science, which is a study of the activity on the sun, in particular the sunspots. And we use climatology, which means that the meteorologist looks back in time, decades and centuries to see what the sunspots were doing at a given time and what the weather was as a result here on Earth, and we use meteorology, which is the study of the atmosphere, including the Jet stream, the ocean temps, the land temps, and of course, what's going on in the polar regions.”

Stillman went on to describe some of the features of the 2022 Old Farmers Almanac captured in the audio file above.

The Old Farmers Almanac was first published in 1792.

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