Great expectations for 2020

Saturday, Jan. 25 will usher in The Chinese Year of the Rat. If you are a believer, this means that 2020 will be a very lucky year for you. Just try not to cry on that day or the coming year might bring you much sorrow. To ensure good fortune, be sure to surround yourself with this year’s lucky colors, orange and pink, which I always thought was a really nice combination.

Pantone, however, the company that brings you standardized color charts, predicts that you, like most people, will prefer what they call Classic Blue in 2020. You may, in fact, have an uncontrollable urge to paint everything a nice calming shade of sky blue.

This is the month when everybody wants to tell us what to expect in the coming year.

Forecasts Are Cloudy

Winter weather may be wild, warns University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professor and weather prognosticator Cliff Mass. “I suspect we have very active winter ahead,” he writes in his blog. Snow? Storms? He’d rather not say so far in advance.

“The Old Farmer’s Almanac” has no such compunction. It predicts that our region will have a warmer, rainier winter than normal. Summer will also be rainier and, on average, hotter than usual. The hottest periods will be in late June, mid-July, and late August. September and October will be warmer and wetter than normal. In brief, expect rain.

Food Futures Yummier

It seems to me that 2019 was the year of the avocado. Uber Eats, suddenly in the prediction business, says Brussels sprouts, star fruit, and cauliflower will be more likely to tempt your taste buds in 2020. They report, as proof, a rise in orders of cauliflower gnocchi and pizza crusts in 2019, a trend that’s expected to persist as people attempt to cut carbs from their diets.

People will also want to keep cutting out dairy. But instead of almond milk, big in 2019, they’ll go for banana or oat milk—anything but whole milk. I assume you’ve heard that dairy farms are not thriving right now.

Meat’s out and the Impossible Burger is in and its popularity rising. Supposedly, carnivores say it’s much better than your average veggie burger because it tastes just like ground meat but the protein comes from soy and potatoes. Look for it on the menu at chain restaurants and more and more food dives by the end of 2020.

Pot’s Stocks Higher

Cannabis and its derivatives will go even more mainstream in 2020 as more states will be legalizing it, more uses are being found for it, and people of all ages will be enjoying it. Our health insurance may soon cover it — who knows?

Medical marijuana sales are projected to jump from $4.7 billion in 2016 to $13.3 billion in 2020. Adult recreational sales are estimated to rise to $11.2 billion by 2020, compared to $2.6 billion

in 2016, according to New Frontier Data, which represents the cannabis industry.

Planning Ahead?

If you’re thinking of getting out of town, the Lonely Planet travel guide says the best-value travel destinations in 2020 are the unspoiled islands of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia and, in Europe, Budapest, Hungary. “U.S News and World Report,” on the other hand, suggests camping at one of our beautiful national parks if you’re looking for a real bargain. They also like Anchorage, Alaska and Portland, Oregon.

I’d like to suggest Washington, D.C., which will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. The town will be rejoicing with numerous once-in-a-lifetime special exhibitions for the occasion.

— Annette Wright was an editor and writer for women’s magazines in NYC for 25 years. You can contact her at

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