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Farmers' Almanac Calls for the U.S. to See a 'Polar Coaster' this Winter

Offering no respite from the current tightness in the natural gas market and the off-the-chart high prices, the United States could be in for a "Polar Coaster" this winter, according to the 2006 Farmers' Almanac.

The 189-year-old publication said because its forecast has so many ups and downs on the thermometer, it is referring to the 2005-2006 winter as a Polar Coaster. "Mother Nature seems to be in the mood for some amusement," stated Peter Geiger, editor of the 2006 Farmers' Almanac.

Managing Editor Sandi Duncan said, "The East is on tap for a crazy ride, with the temperatures and weather initially leading into the winter season seeming mild, but the bulk of the winter will turn out to be unusually cold, with plenty of snow, especially in the northern sections."

The book, which accurately predicted the hot, humid summer, is forecasting a more amusing winter in the West, with an overall warmer winter prediction, but with a fair share of snow and cold periods in the country's midsections.

The book predicts that New England will be "very cold and snowy," while the rest of the East down across Louisiana and through a swath of Texas is expected to be cold. The Great Lakes region is predicted to be mild but snowy, while a great portion of the country's midsection and Southwest should be mild and drier than normal. The Northwest tip is expected to be wetter than normal while the West as a whole should be warmer than normal.

"We include 16 months of weather forecasts in each new edition of the Farmers' Almanac," said Geiger, "starting with September of 2005 and going through December of 2006."

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