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El Niño vs. the Farmers’ Almanac

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With the release of the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac and our official “Ice Cold Sandwich” outlook for the winter ahead, a few people have asked us what we think about an El Nino forming and throwing a curve ball into our forecasts.

Here is an official statement from Farmers’ Almanac’s weather prognosticator, Caleb Weatherbee:

“The fact that we have had limited tropical storm activity this year suggests that there is a moderate El Nino going on right now. El Ninos cause upper level wind shear that rips tropical systems in the Atlantic apart and keeps them from strengthening. Case in point is Tropical Storm Erika, which is teetering on the brink of being downgraded to a depression.

The fact that we have an El Nino doesn’t necessarily mean that the upcoming winter will be mild . . . there have been some pretty snowy El Nino scenarios over the years.  And there is a chance that if this one reaches its peak intensity soon, it could start fading by the time winter is here; it’s a wait and see proposition, however, based on our formula we stand by our Frigid Winter Outlook for three-quarters of the country.”

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My advice: stock up on firewood, gloves, snow shovels and Farmers’ Almanacs — they’re a good read when it’s too cold and snowy to go out.

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1 Elaine { 09.08.09 at 8:51 pm }

one of the best indicaters of how the winter will be is how thick and high the muskrats and beaver build their huts. the higher and thick indicate cold ,snowy winter. Low and thin built huts indicate a mild winter.

2 Craig { 09.03.09 at 3:51 pm }

Great point! Many forecasters are basing their forecast off entirely on El Nino continuing through the winter. It will weaken!

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 1919, 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.

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