Right around this time of year, some people — especially when they live in northern states — begin to count down the days until spring.
While the spring equinox will occur on March 20 at 5:24 p.m. Eastern Time for the Northern Hemisphere this year, that doesn’t necessarily mean spring-like weather will arrive then.
Fortunately, the Farmers’ Almanac, which has published long-range weather forecasts since 1818, recently published its 2023 spring forecast to give readers a resource to help make plans — and also know what to expect.
“Spring has a way of keeping us on our toes,” the Farmers’ Almanac spring forecast explains.
“While many of us will be looking forward to the end of winter, spring temperatures may take their time arriving. According to our long-range outlook, temperatures will be slow to warm,” the forecast continues. “In fact, around the time of the vernal equinox, unseasonably cold temperatures may be gripping many parts of the country, extending the ‘shiver and shovel’ portion of our winter forecast. We are predicting a ‘soggy, shivery spring’ ahead.”
So, let’s get right to it. Here is the Farmers’ Almanac spring forecast for the United States.
A Cool, Wet Spring
“Overall, we see a wet and cool season for most places, with spring taking its sweet time to arrive,” according to the spring forecast.
For instance, the spring forecast for the Great Lakes area of the U.S. is “cool, very stormy,” according to the Farmers’ Almanac. Meanwhile, people in the southeastern U.S. can expect typical spring temperatures along with “tons of showers.”
The exceptions will be in the northwestern U.S., where near-normal temperatures should be expected in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. In fact, the overall spring forecast for this area is “seasonal temperatures and precipitation,” the Farmers’ Almanac explains.
Likewise, in the southwestern U.S., people can expect temperatures to rise quickly. The Farmers’ Almanac forecast for that area calls for “warm-to-hot continued dry” weather this spring.
A Turbulent Late Spring
As you may already expect, snow will continue to be possible in early April for much of the Great Lakes area.
“Spring will be unusually active over the nation’s heartland with frequent heavy-to-severe thunderstorms predicted,” the spring forecast notes. “Such adverse activity will be confined chiefly to the southeast states during March, and then will spread north and west from April through June.”
2023 Tornado Forecast
Although tornadoes may occur in much of the U.S., the most frequent and devastating tornado events typically occur in the area known as “Tornado Alley” which runs from the Dakotas south to Texas.
In 2023, however, the Farmers’ Almanac spring forecast calls for tornadoes to be more likely slightly to the east. That area encompasses the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi River valleys.
Just How Accurate Are The Forecasts?
The Farmers’ Almanac has published long-range weather forecasts since 1818. The key to those forecasts is a set of astronomical and mathematical rules developed by David Young, the Almanac’s first editor.
The question, inevitably, on people’s minds, however, is this: How reliable are those long-range forecasts?
To find out, we talked to Caleb Weatherbee, the official forecaster for the Farmers’ Almanac. Interestingly, although Weatherbee is a real person, the name “Caleb Weatherbee” is “actually a pseudonym that has been passed down through generations of Almanac prognosticators and has been used to conceal the true identity of the men and women behind our predictions,” the Farmers’ Almanac told TravelAwaits.
“Many years ago, Ray Geiger, who was editor of the Farmers’ Almanac for 60 years, was quoted as saying that we are 80 percent correct,” Weatherbee told TravelAwaits in an exclusive interview.
“That’s pretty much our ‘traditional’ batting average, although, there are variances from year to year — sometimes the accuracy is a bit lower and sometimes it’s a bit higher,” Weatherbee continued. “We always strive for 100 percent accuracy, but Ms. Nature always throws us a few curve balls, or knuckleballs, each year.”
While spring may seem to be around the corner, there’s still plenty of winter left. If you want to know what the Farmers’ Almanac winter forecast is for your area this winter, or areas you’ll be visiting, be sure to also read Farmers’ Almanac Predicts Cold, Snowy Winter For Most Of U.S., Here’s Where It Will Be Mild And Dry.