July 15, 2024

GARNETT — Last winter, the Farmer’s Almanac predicted one of the worst winters in years for Anderson County and is making the same predictions for this winter. If current sunspot conditions have anything to do with those predictions, this winter could be one for the record books. And state climatologist Mary Knapp said sunspot activity is factor in what kind of winter occurs. In this case, the sun has had a record length of days without sunspots, Knapp said. She told the Anderson County Review that the last time the sun went so long without sunspots was in the late 1600s, a period called the Little Ice Age. During the Little Ice Age, the Thames River in London and the New York harbor froze thick enough to allow ice skating. Ships couldn’t sail because the seas next to land were frozen for miles. However, Knapp said there’s still an El Nino weather and water pattern developing in the Pacific Ocean. In Kansas, El Nino winters are warmer than normal, she said.

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