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How Does The Almanac Predict The Weather?

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Each and every year since 1818, the Farmers’ Almanac has been offering long-range weather predictions that are amazingly accurate. But have you ever wondered how these forecasts are made?

In this day and age when weather is found at the click of a button, the Farmers’ Almanac continues to offer a longer range weather forecast than any other source available. In each edition of the printed Farmers’ Almanac, there are 16 months of weather predictions for the continental United States, as well as a version for our Canadian friends, with weather forecasts for most Canadian provinces.

Plan Your Day. Grow Your Life

People find the Almanac’s long-range forecast especially useful when planning their days ahead, especially when budgeting for heating bills, planning vacations, special events, weddings, and much more. Many businesses consult the Farmers’ Almanac’s outlook for their planning as well. And what’s really amazing is that these weather predictions are quite accurate.

How Are The Predictions Made?

The editors of the Farmers’ Almanac firmly deny using any type of computer satellite tracking equipment, weather lore or groundhogs. What they will admit to is using a specific and reliable set of rules that were developed back in 1818 by David Young, the Almanac’s first editor. These rules have been altered slightly and turned into a formula that is both mathematical and astronomical. The formula takes things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, the position of the planets, and a variety of other factors into consideration. The only person who knows the exact formula is the Farmers’ Almanac weather prognosticator who goes by the pseudonym of Caleb Weatherbee. To protect this proprietary and reliable formula, the editors of the Farmers’ Almanac prefer to keep both Caleb’s true identity and the formula a closely guarded brand secret.

While some may question how a publication that started over 200 years ago can make such accurate weather forecasts, the Farmers’ Almanac editors like to remind everyone that this formula has been time-tested, challenged, and approved for nearly two centuries. The Farmers’ Almanac is the oldest source of consecutively published weather forecasts, even longer than the National Weather Service.

Unlike your local news, government, or commercial weather service, the Almanac’s forecasts are calculated several years in advance. Once the new edition is printed, the editors never go back to change or update its forecasts the way other local sources do.

Though weather forecasting, and long-range forecasting, in particular, remains an inexact science, many longtime Almanac followers claim that our forecasts are 80% to 85% accurate. Check out our On the Money page to see some of the very accurate weather events forecast by the Farmers’ Almanac.

Test the forecasts for yourself!

Find out what weather outlook is for this winter, spring, summer, and fall ahead. It’s all in the new edition of the Farmers’ Almanac, shipping now!

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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