The Farmer’s Almanac Predicts a Brutal Winter


By Mayzie Purviance

Have you ever wondered when the best time is to wean calves, potty-train a toddler or even wax the floor?  Well, according to the Farmer’s Almanac it’s today, September 6, 2019.  The Almanac, which began publishing in 1818 and has since grown into an online and print edition and e-newsletter, claims to be “time-tested and generations approved.”

“It is a compendium of knowledge on weather, gardening, cooking, home remedies, managing your household, preserving the earth and more.  Anyone can give you advice – Farmers’ Almanac goes beyond today’s experts and enlightens you with generations of perception, experience, and common sense,” the publication website boasts.

Some would classify Almanac information as nothing more than a superstition.  But others purchase one each year and carefully plan according to the published findings and predictions.  The Almanac said the predications are based on an “exclusive mathematical and astronomical formula that relies on sunspot activity, tidal action, planetary position and many other factors.”

In a quick survey, WAR discovered that individuals have relied on the Almanac to plan a wedding and ensure good weather before booking the photographer and ordering flowers.  Thankfully, the predictions were correct, and the wedding was blessed with beautiful weather.  Others have turned to the Almanac for advice on breaking their children from a pacifier and potty-training little ones.  Even more people said they religiously read the Almanac for gardening tips.  An overwhelming number of folks said they have had doctors and vets recommend checking the Almanac to “see where the signs were” before scheduling surgery or dehorning cattle.

Seeing that many people still depend on the Farmer’s Almanac to plan weaning days, dehorning days, planting days or harvest days, the recent news of the book’s predicted “Polar Coaster” winter has been a big topic of conversation.

“Our extended forecast is calling for yet another freezing, frigid and frosty winter for two-thirds of the country,” Farmer’s Almanac Editor Peter Geiger said.

The Farmer’s Almanac provides 16 months of weather forecasts for seven zones.  For this upcoming winter, the Almanac is predicting, “the worst of the bitterly cold winter conditions will affect areas east of the Rockies all the way to the Appalachians.”  According to the Almanac, the biggest temperature drops are set to extend from the northern Plains to the Great Lakes and the coldest outbreak of the season should arrive the final week of January.

“The Almanac calls for above-normal winter precipitation over the eastern third of the country as well as the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Great Lakes.  The Pacific Northwest and Southwest should see near-normal precipitation,” the Almanac said in a press release.  “With colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and above-normal precipitation expected, our outlook forewarns of not only a good amount of snow, but also a wintry mix of rain and sleet – especially along the coast.”

With most of the country being hit by copious amounts of wintery precipitation, it’s not likely the Northwest will be overlooked when it comes to snow and sleet, according to the publication.  The Almanac released a map indicating predictions of the upcoming winter, Montana to Minnesota could be facing a winter that is “frigid and snowy,” while those in Idaho, Washington and Oregon are set to receive normal precipitation.

Some may choose to take this news with a grain of salt while others swear by the Almanac’s accuracy.  Montana State University Assistant Climatologist Ashley Ballantyne said it’s “nearly impossible” to accurately predict the weather more than two weeks into the future.  Whether you choose to take each week as it comes and is predicted by meteorologists or prep for a long winter ahead, the Almanac predictions will be interesting to compare to the weather we experienced when spring finally rolls around.

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