A farmer’s friend sees snowy start to winter Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac forecast favorable to skiers | AspenTimes.com

A farmer’s friend sees snowy start to winter Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac forecast favorable to skiers

ASPEN – Another weather forecast is foreseeing a snowy start to the 2012-13 winter.

Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac – not to be confused with the Old Farmer’s Almanac – has forecast “near normal” or slightly above-normal precipitation for the Rocky Mountain region in November, December, January and February. The publication forecast slightly below-normal precipitation at the end of ski season, in March and April.

November will start and conclude with snow, the almanac said, with only the middle part of the month dry.

And if the publication’s meteorologists are correct, Aspen-Snowmass won’t be sweating a lack of snow for the holidays. Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac is calling for locally heavy snow in the mountains for most of December starting in the second week of the month. The weather will ease up from Dec. 23 until Dec. 28, which always helps to lure tourists out to the slopes.

January will bring “mountain snow showers at any time,” the publication said. February will be the snowiest month of the season, according to its forecast. “Frequent snow showers in the mountains at two- to three- month intervals,” it said.

February provided the only true winter weather last ski season. Otherwise, conditions were generally warmer and drier than usual.

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Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac is the second highly visible weather-forecasting organization to predict snowy conditions to start the 2012-13 campaign. AccuWeather, a weather-forecasting company, released its 2012 fall forecast Aug. 6 and predicted ample snow for the Rockies. Snowy conditions will begin in late September and last at least through November, the firm said.

This winter, Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting temperatures “near normal” in December, January, February and April and slightly above normal in November. October and March will be “slightly above normal,” the publication forecast.

The almanac says it was inspired by the original Harris’ Almanack that was first published in 1692. Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac is on newsstands now, including the ones at City Market in El Jebel. It features the weather forecasts, moon-phase calendar, farming schedules and quirky stories on everything from carp to the paint-by-number craze.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is due on newsstands in mid-September. It has a splashier presentation than its rival.

While the almanac is foreseeing snowy conditions in early winter, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is taking a more cautious approach to its forecast. Its three-month outlook for October, November and December says the probability is high for above-average temperature for all of Colorado. The Climate Prediction Center sees an equal chance of above-average, normal and below-average precipitation for Colorado through December.

scondon@aspentimes.com

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