Even in this era of HD Doppler Radar, 3-D Satellite Imagery and seven-day extended forecasts, many weather watchers still get their seasonal forecasts from the most unlikely of sources: the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Benjamin Radford, with the Skeptical Inquirer Science Magazine says the prolific book still has a lot to offer.
“The Farmer’s Almanac is still popular two-and-a quarter centuries later. The reason is that it’s not simply dry and boring predictions. It’s a mix of science and pseudo-science with a dose of old-time wisdom thrown in.”
The almanac, which claims about an 80 percent success rate in its forecasts, employs modern technology but still uses the "secret formula" that founder Robert Thomas devised in 1792. By combining the study of sunspots, prevailing weather patterns and basic meteorology, the almanac's weather staff comes up with a long-range forecast. The temperature deviations are based on 30-year averages compiled by government forecasters.
The almanac also provides advice on planting, astronomy, food and love among other items.
In fact, the New Hampshire-based almanac predicts a "super-cold" winter in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The west will remain a little bit warmer than usual. And for us on the Gulf Coast, a remaining slow hurricane season is in store with the remote possibility of a storm to make landfall (Ed. note: So far it’s been correct.)
So, before you check the weather app on your new smart-phone, get a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac—if you want more than just dry statistics and more-of-the same graphics.