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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

With a record snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic States over the weekend, I have to put things in perspective. The majority of mail I get during the winter is from folks in Maryland, Virginia, NY, and NJ asking when they’ll get snow. The last few winters have been more green than white. So the GOOD is that although this region of the country stands a 10% chance of snow before Christmas, they got more than anyone could ever have wanted. In some places it topped 2 feet of “autumn” snow. The Bad is that it really took its toll on folks who planned their last shopping trips. And, it clogged airports to the dismay of travelers, including one friend who was heading to Seattle via JFK Airport (NYC). The UGLY is the fact that the Farmers’ Almanac missed this storm. No, we don’t look at a computer model or watch it come across the country or up the coast. We have a method that tracks weather 2 years in advance for which we are credited at being 80% accurate. But, when we miss one this big, ouch it really hurts. It was questionable if it was going to hit land or go out to see as it did over northern New England. Two years ago Caleb thought it would go out to sea. But we are proud of our weather forecasts and do believe that by winter’s end, our forecasts will be more accurate than not. The UGLY was also a few emails we received about how could we miss this one. We hope that those who emailed remember that predicting the weather – long and short range – is not an exact science. We do not know of anyone with 100% accuracy rate, do you?

Winter solstice rolls in at 12:47pm today (December 21st). Our days will start to get brighter but this is winter and we do think we’ll have more than our share of storms.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.