Mild and rainy or cold and snowy?

Experts and the Old Farmer's Almanac disagree on winter's wrath.

So we’re in for a cold one on B.C.’s south ‘wet’ coast, according to the usual experts – including Environment Canada, which says a moderate La Nina weather pattern will bring frigid temperatures and snow this winter.

But what does the Old Farmer’s Almanac say?

The annual compendium of weather forecasts, tide, astronomical and planting tables, holidays, eclipses, zodiac secrets etc., includes weather forecasts for five regions in Canada – including southern B.C.

Turns out it may not be great news for Lower Mainland commuters who have purchased snow tires, according to the almanac, which claims to be 80 per cent accurate.

The latest edition is predicting another mild, wet winter on the southwest coast, but cold and snowy throughout much of northern and interior B.C., with a mild, snowy winter of 2011-2012 in the southern Okanagan and Kootenays.

Temperatures in the south will be slightly above normal, with more precipitation – but less snow – than in most years.

April and May will be cooler and drier than normal, while summer will be warmer and drier than normal.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada is calling for a 90-day average temperature over the winter to run one to two degrees colder than normal, increasing odds of big dumps of snow in Metro Vancouver.

The U.S. National Weather Service is also calling for another La Nina winter, with a strong chance of above-average precipitation across the Pacific Northwest.

It’s the 30th anniversary of the Canadian edition of the almanac, founded in 1782 by Robert B. Thomas.

The annual compendium contains a large number of astronomical calculations and a farmer’s calendar for every month of the year, plus a variety of new, useful and entertaining matter, it says, along with recipes, gardening tips, trivia and feature items.

Doomsday watchers, take note: this year’s edition says the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012 will not mark the end of the world.

– With files from Black Press

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