Farmers' Almanac using 4 letter word for this year's winter

ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)August 25, 2013


LEWISTON, MAINE " The Farmers’ Almanac is using words like “piercing cold,” ‘’bitterly cold” and “biting cold” to describe the upcoming winter. And if its predictions are right, the first outdoor Super Bowl in years will be a messy “Storm Bowl.”

The 197-year-old publication that hits newsstands Monday predicts a winter storm will hit the Northeast around the time the Super Bowl is played at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands in New Jersey. It also predicts a colder-than-normal winter for two-thirds of the country and heavy snowfall in the Midwest, Great Lakes and New England.

“We’re using a very strong four-letter word to describe this winter, which is C-O-L-D. It’s going to be very cold,” said Sandi Duncan, managing editor.

Based on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles, the almanac’s secret formula is largely unchanged since founder David Young published the first almanac in 1818.

Modern scientists don’t put much stock in sunspots or tidal action, but the almanac says its forecasts used by readers to plan weddings and plant gardens are correct about 80 percent of the time.

Last year, the forecast called for cold weather for the eastern and central U.S. with milder temperatures west of the Great Lakes. It started just the opposite but ended up that way.

Caleb Weatherbee, the publication’s elusive prognosticator, said he was off by only a couple of days on two of the season’s biggest storms: a February blizzard that paralyzed the Northeast with 3 feet of snow in some places and a sloppy storm the day before spring’s arrival that buried parts of New England.

Readers who put stock in the almanac’s forecasts may do well to stock up on long johns, especially if they’re lucky enough to get tickets to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. The first Super Bowl held outdoors in a cold-weather environment could be both super cold and super messy, with a big storm due Feb. 1 to 3, the almanac says.

Said Duncan: “It really looks like the Super Bowl may be the Storm Bowl.”

The Maine-based Farmers’ Almanac, not to be confused with the New Hampshire-based Old Farmer’s Almanac, which will be published next month, features a mix of corny jokes, gardening tips, nostalgia and home remedies, like feeding carrots to dogs to help with bad breath and using mashed bananas to soothe dry, cracked skin in the winter.

Also in this year’s edition, editor Peter Geiger is leading a campaign to get people to ditch the penny, like Canada is doing.

Past campaigns have focused on moving Thanksgiving to harvest time in October, reconsidering “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem and changing the color of money. This time, Geiger thinks he has a winner.

He wants people to donate pennies to charity and then lobby Congress to stop making them.

“They don’t get used very much. They get tossed. The only real use of a penny is if you save tens of thousands of them, then you can use them to help someone,” he said.

Here is a link that might be useful: Poughkeepsie Journal

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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Always interesting to read this but I quote wiki

One disputing analysis concluded that these forecasts are at most 2% more accurate than random guesses.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 7:54PM
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I thought that the 4 letter word would be snow, at least up north. We had bitter cold last winter, but not as bad as 2010. I need to spring $100.00 + for a home weather station if I want to know exactly what the lows will be at night and early morning. I only really care because of my Live oak hybrids, to see what they've endured. I am also trying some palms that are zone 6 and 7 hardy. They will need covered of course or greenhoused.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 8:58PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'd take a -25F ...been a while.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:11PM
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joeschmoe80(6 (Ohio))

For what it's worth, a meteorologist friend of mine says that since we're ENSO-neutral (neither La Nina or El Nino), we will probably end up with a fairly average winter in most areas. He also mentioned though that the eastern half of the country seems to be in a below normal temp/above normal precip pattern which could continue.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 2:09PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

I got that Feb 10, 2011 believe it or not. Previously coldest I had seen in Arkansas was -13F in the late 70's.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 2:27PM
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I remember droughts in the 80's and some really cold winters. We are lucky now with lots of rain, but that will surely change at some point. The Atlantic hasn't had any Hurricanes to worry about lately, unless it has been in the ,last 2-3 days. I haven't whatched the weather reports for a few days.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:51PM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Well, we were warned......

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:36AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Surely its colder than average but again the Farmers Almanac has a poor history of being accurate.

NOAA is the only source that is somewhat accurate for long term forecasts.

Just a couple quotes from analysis done on the FA forecasts

"laughable at best and abysmal at worst"

"there is little reason to believe that the Old Farmer's Almanac forecasts are any better than flipping a coin"

"50.7% of the monthly temperature forecasts and 51.9% of the precipitation forecasts verified with the correct sign. This compares with the 50% success rate expected by chance"

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:03AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
There's a guy on another gardening forum who's been saying for the past 3 years that a very cold winter was coming. Even though the 2 before this were incredibly mild (at least in the mid-Atlantic and south) is he now correct in saying "I told you so?"
That being, I think this could be G-d's punishment for the folly of playing the superbowl in the Meadowlands.* BTW I have a huge prediction: one team will win!

* one of the the world's great ironic placenames. Ought to be called the "marshy industrial wastelands".

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 10:27

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Hahaha haters! Bow to the omniscient FA!!!

I wish they made one this accurate for sports gambling purposes...

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:30AM
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