How Does the Farmer’s Almanac Predict the Weather?
“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
For growers and garden centers across the horticultural industry, weather is a continual stressor to this seasonal business.
For generations, we’ve trusted the Farmer’s Almanac (and a furry little groundhog in Pennsylvania) to predict weather patterns for the upcoming season. For a majority of the time, they are fairly accurate in their predictions – unlike the forecasts on the evening news.
So how does the Farmer’s Almanac predict the weather so accurately?
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 did 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.
Regardless, the Farmer’s Almanac continues to be a trusted and reliable resource for growers and garden centers throughout North America.
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