LEWISTON – Good news, winter haters: After record snowfall in the mid-Atlantic and unusually cold weather down South, the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a “kinder and gentler” winter.

After eyeing the skies, tidal action and sunspots, the folks at the 194-year-old publication say in their 2011 edition going on sale Monday that it’ll be cold but nothing like last winter, when 49 states saw snow and it got so cold in Florida that iguanas fell out of trees.

“Overall, it looks like it’s going to be a kinder and gentler winter, especially in the areas that had a rough winter last year,” said managing editor Sandi Duncan.

But don’t put away your hat and gloves just yet.

It’ll still be colder than normal for much of the country, the almanac says, and New England will get a “cold slap in the face” after missing last winter’s misery. And residents of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes are expected to get the piles of snow that will be lacking elsewhere.

The Farmers’ Almanac, which claims 80 percent to 85 percent accuracy and says it correctly forecast heavy snow in Middle Atlantic states last winter, bases its predictions on a secret mathematical formula using the position of the planets, tidal action of the moon and sunspots.