Extreme Weather 

2 Almanacs 2 Very Different Winter Weather Outlooks

There are two separate almanacs, the Farmers’ Almanac and the Old Farmer’s Almanac, both of which have very different outlooks for this coming NH winter.

The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a frigid winter with “teeth-chattering” cold temperatures and heavy snowfall, while the Old Farmer’s Almanac is calling for above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall.

Which of the two major almanacs should we believe?

A study from the university of Illinois found the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s monthly forecasts to be approximately 52% accurate or “not great”.

And when comparing last year’s almanac predictions to what actually occurred, the Farmers’ Almanac was far more accurate — it called for wild temperature and precipitation swings, which turned out to be the case, and also accurately ‘red-flagged’ specific dates for noteworthy storms.

Check out last years outlooks below:

Old Farmer’s Almanac 2017 Winter Outlook
Farmers’ Almanac 2017 Winter Outlook

The Old Farmer’s Almanac states, “we derive our weather forecasts from a secret formula that was devised by the founder of this almanac, Robert B. Thomas, in 1792.”

It makes weather predictions through a combination of animal signals, chicken bones, pig spleens and other weather lore.

Whereas the Farmer’s Almanac bases its outlook on a “mathematical and astronomical formula” dating back to 1818 that takes sunspot activity and other astronomical anomalies into account.

While I believe both almanacs should be taken with a spoonful of salt, I think it’s fair to say the Farmers’ Almanac has been closer to the mark in recent years.

It’s also consistently looking more and more like NOAA’s average temperature change during the Maunder Minimum chart — where Alaska and far western portions of North America warmed while Central and Eastern areas froze.

If we match historical documentation with where we’re at now — in line with solar output — the NH winter of 2018/19 should be one of record cold and snow totals.

The Farmers’ Almanac Outlook appears closer to the mark in that regard — to see its 2018 winter outlook in more detail, click here.


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