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How Does The Farmers’ Almanac Predict The Weather?

Farmers’ Almanac has been providing accurate long-range weather forecasts since 1818. But have you ever wondered how these forecasts are made? It's all in the formula.

How Does The Farmers’ Almanac Predict The Weather?

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 forecasts for most Canadian provinces.

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 astronomer and mathemetician, 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

The formula takes into consideration things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, the position of the planets, and a variety of other factors. 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 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 two 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 maintain that our forecasts are 80% to 85% accurate. Check out our On the Money page to see some of the very accurate weather events predicted by the Farmers’ Almanac.

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