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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

So That’s How They Do It!

Mark Twain called humor “mankind’s greatest blessing.” It can insulate us from pain, provide us with perspective, and bring people closer together. Researchers have even found that laughter is good for us. It relaxes the body, boosts our immune system, strengthens our hearts, and promotes feelings of wellbeing long after the laughter itself ends.

Humor has always been part of the Farmers’ Almanac’s unique blend of wit and wisdom, just as much as our famous long-range weather forecasts. A friend of mine reminded me of this old joke yesterday. It offers a fun look at what happens when you combine humor and weather (not to mention a friendly jab at our friends over at the National Weather Service):

It’s late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in Montana asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was a modern chief, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.

But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”

“It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,” the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.

A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. “Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?”

“Yes,” the man at National Weather Service again replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”

The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.

Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. “Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”

“Absolutely,” the man replied. “It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.”

“How can you be so sure?” the chief asked.

The weatherman replied, “The Indians are collecting a ton of firewood!”

Do you have a favorite weather joke? Share it below!

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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.