While winter weather may be the first thing many people think about when they hear the words “Farmers’ Almanac,” this 200-year-old annual publication also offers hurricane outlooks as well as spring and summer forecasts. Each edition actually contains 16 months of weather predictions for the contiguous US.
Did The Almanac Predict Harvey or Irma?
The 2018 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac does include the forecast of a hurricane threat along the Gulf Coast for September 4-7th, 2017, in the Southeast and the South Central States, and it also warns of another tropical storm/hurricane for the end of September (28-30th) along the Atlantic Coast.
“We missed calling Harvey a hurricane, but we certainly gave everyone an advance notice of the possibility of a September hurricane in the Southeast (Irma) ” shared editor Peter Geiger, Philom., adding, “we did predict heavy thunderstorms being a good possibility on August 25th in Texas, the same day hurricane Harvey made landfall.”
Farmers’ Almanac bases its long-range weather predictions on a 200-year-old formula that takes things like sunspot activity, position of the Moon, and a variety of other mathematical and astronomical data, into consideration. The formula was created in 1818 and altered slightly over the years, but uses no computer satellite systems or radar.
In the past the Farmers’ Almanac has accurately forewarned of other hurricanes including:
- Hurricane Dolly, 2008. During the summer of 2008, the Farmers’ Almanac predicted hurricane threats along the Gulf Coast, calling for one in mid-July and one in mid-August. In mid-July, Hurricane Dolly touched down on the Eastern Coast of Texas, damaging more property in the area than any storm since Hurricane Rita, three years earlier. The mid-August threat materialized into Tropical Storm Fay, which flooded portions of Southern Florida.
- In 2005, Farmers’ Almanac weather outlook warned that two major hurricanes would hit the same area of the Gulf Coast. Katrina and Rita devastated area at the end of that summer. Though we missed the actual dates by a few days, we were on target with our call for two hurricane strikes to the same region.
- Farmers’ Almanac accurately predicted Hurricane Andrew in 1992, as noted by then Florida Governor Lawton Chiles, Jr., on Larry King Live.
Only time will tell if the Farmers’ Almanac is correct about a hurricane for September 28-30th along the Atlantic Coast, which could impact the Southeast and Northeast regions of the country.
Until then the Farmers’ Almanac does offer useful tips and advice on how to be “hurricane ready” as well as some hurricane weather lore that suggests “when a cow carries its tail upright, it is a sign of a coming hurricane.”