How does the Farmer’s Almanac work?

How does the Farmer’s Almanac work?

“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and “wrong too often for us to rely on it.” –Patrick Young

Whether you’re caring for your front lawn or manicuring a signature tree, living on the beautiful coast of Maine or the mountainous terrains of Colorado, the weather (in all its uncertainty) plays a significant role in how successful we are when caring for our property.

For generations we’ve trusted the Farmer’s Almanac (and a furry little groundhog in Pennsylvania) to predict weather patterns for the upcoming season.

“It’s going to be an unseasonably warm spring” or “this winter will see the strength of Mother Nature’s fury” are often communicated to every day people looking for a more accurate weather report than what’s on the evening news.

So how does the Farmer’s Almanac predict the weather anyway?

Well it all stems from the founder of the Almanac itself. Way back in 1792, Robert B. Thomas believed that weather was influenced heavily by sunspots, which for those of you who don’t know are magnetic storms on the surface of the sun.

Thomas then developed a formula for predicting the weather based on this anomaly, which is said to be locked away in a vault at the Almanac’s headquarters in Dublin, New Hampshire.

While their formula for predicting the weather is still a “secret,” they do provide this bit of information on their website: “We predict weather trends and events by comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity.”

Additionally, they list three scientific disciplines they use to make long-range predictions:

  • solar science, the study of sunspots and other solar activity;
  • climatology, the study of prevailing weather patterns; and
  • meteorology, the study of the atmosphere.

While a full year of weather predictions comes with an 80% accuracy rate, much of the credit seems attributed to cause and effect and the wonderful world of science.

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