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According to the old farmer's almanac, our winter should be mild again this year. Graphic courtesy of The Old Farmer's Almanac

Should be warm winter

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The good news is, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac anyway, the 2012-13 winter should be mild and dry. Well, good news for those not wishing for lots of snow and cold temperatures anyway.

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More good news (again, depending on who you are): The 2013 summer should be cool and wet.

The Farmer's Almanac, which boasts to be 80 percent accurate, says winter temps will be above normal on average, with below average precipitation. The coldest periods will be late December and early to mid-February.

January is predicted to be 20 degrees, on average, which is 7 degrees above average. March is predicted to be average 33 degrees, or 5 degrees above average. December and February are predicted to be lower than average, but not by much.

December is estimated to be about 12 degrees average, or 4 degrees below average. February will be a little colder at 10 degrees average, 3 degrees below average.

The most snowfall will come in mid-December (just in time for a white Christmas), early January and late March.

April and May will see more than average rain.

Pretty standard, late June through mid-August will see the hottest temperatures. September and October will be warmer and wetter than normal, which would be good not to have a repeat of this fall.

The 2013 Old Farmer's Almanac was just released this month, and is filled with other fun facts and predictions for the upcoming year.

With that all said, how reliable is the Farmer's Almanac?

"We were correct in the direction of departure from normal in 12 of the 16 regions, although most regions were warmer than we forecast, and our forecast differed from actual conditions by 3.1 degrees on average," the book says of the 2011-12 winter predictions.

The Almanac's predictions started in 1792 with founder Robert Thomas, who devised a "secret formula" for predicting the weather. Since that time, those working on the Farmer's Almanac have tweaked here and there, studying solar science, climatology and meteorology.

"We believe that nothing in the universe happens haphazardly, that there is a cause-and-effect pattern to all phenomena," it says.

Other Almanac fun facts

The Farmer's Almanac is ready to give predictions and advice for not only the weather but also gardening, home and health, nature, pets, sports and husbandry -- for animals, not the singles out there.

Need any relaxation tips? Try deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or visualization.

Best fishing days and times? When the barometer is steady or on the rise. When the breeze is from a westerly quarter, rather than from the north or east. During the rise and set of the moon.

Ways to stop beans from causing gas? Add a pinch of ginger when cooking pinto beans is one suggestion.

To make pancakes lighter and fluffier? Add club soda instead of milk.

For a zippier taste? Add a pinch of cinnamon to chocolate chip cookie batter. Or, give every baked cheese dish a squirt of mustard. Or, add one shredded carrot to spaghetti sauce to cut acidity.

Some food preservation tips? Put an apple into a bag of potatoes to keep the spuds from budding. Dip the cut end of an unpeeled banana in sugar to prevent browning. Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays for use later in cold coffee drinks.

For more useful tips, and a few good laughs, check out the 2013 Farmer's Almanac.

Points to ponder

Some food for thought, also from the Farmer's Almanac:

• Why do Americans choose from just two people running for president and 50 for Miss America?

• Why is it that our feet smell and our nose runs?

• How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

• To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

• The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

• When you're tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department usually uses water.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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