Labor Day has passed, the first few leaves have started to fall, and the dreaded talk of winter has begun. We aren’t purposefully trying to bring on winter-woes by talks of another polar vortex, but it’s natural to wonder what Mother Nature has in store. One way to find out is the Farmer’s Almanac, but just how reliable are their predictions?
Many are more than skeptical. How is it possible to predict the weather a year in advance? Modern meteorologists say anything over 10 days is inaccurate, so just how do these almanacs (yes, there are dueling publications) do it?
The Old Farmer’s Almanac released their predictions last month, another anticlimactic, exceptionally cold winter. Big surprise, right? So just how did they come to this conclusion? A “secret formula” developed in 1792 that is based on solar science, climatology and meteorology. It’s so special that it’s locked up in a black box at their headquarters in Dublin, New Hampshire.
The Farmers’ Almanac has a similar, equally as sketchy formula to forecast long-term weather predictions. They go “beyond today’s experts” by using generations of perception, experience and common sense. It’s been published every year since 1818, and have many blog posts to boast their “on the money” accuracy. Sold!
While it’s easy to poke fun at these not-so-scientific methods that have been considered “at best, a crapshoot” by respected meteorologists everywhere, some people plan their whole lives around these things. Vacations, wedding dates, when to plant their petunias—you name it. In a testimonial on their website, Samantha P. raves about its accuracy.
“For the past few years I have used your weather predictions for vacationing and planning weekends etc., to most recently picking my wedding date in September in New England – the most beautiful day ever. I just want to thank the Farmers’ Almanac.”
But it doesn’t stop there. The almanacs predict much more than the weather. The yearly issue also foresees fashion, food and technology trends for the upcoming year.
While we wouldn’t put money on these predictions, weather is a guessing game in general. Our advice? Take heed in the almanacs’ predictions, but not with any more confidence than you give your local meteorologist.