This winter will bring much more snow than we have in the past. I’m basing this off of the fact that I would like some more snow. Obviously, this is just something I want, not a reliable way to predict the weather. So, where should I go to find out what our weather will be like this winter? If I go to my local weather news for winter predictions, will I be let down? Probably. But there are other places that people have gone in the past for weather predictions. For hundreds of years, people have been using alternative ways to predict the upcoming seasons. The most popular being a Farmer’s Almanac. But how accurate are these alternative methods?
The Farmer’s Almanac, many of us know it, but how many people use it? Well, historically, a lot. The Farmer’s Almanac was first published in 1818 and has since been published every year. The almanac provides more than just weather predictions, including fun facts, advice on gardening, cooking, and more. Farmers used to use it to predict when they should plant their crops. Many have used it to prepare for harsh weather, and surprisingly, a lot of people still do. First of all, how are these predictions even made? That’s a good question. Rumor is that the process of prediction is kept away in a locked box.
“Our weather forecast methodology stems from a secret formula that was devised by our founder…*
But how accurate is this? If you ask those who create the Farmer’s Almanac, they will tell you an 80% accuracy rate consistently. If we ask other Atmospheric scientists, they will say to you, but you’re just as good flipping a coin as you are listening to the old Farmer’s Almanac.
“51.9 percent of the monthly precipitation forecasts and 50.7 percent of the monthly temperature forecasts were accurate, concluding that these percentages are similar to the 50 percent success rate expected by chance.”**
The Farmer’s Almanac website claims that they have an 80% accuracy. When you look at the way that the Farmer’s Almanac predicts the weather, you might see where they can get that 80% accuracy from. And essentially goes like this. If the Farmer’s Almanac predicts it will be two degrees colder in the Midwest than the previous year, and it’s five degrees colder in the Midwest compared to last year, that’s a correct prediction. If the Farmer’s Almanac says that the pacific northwest is going to get one more inch of snow, then It ended up being ten more inches of snow than previously, that’s a correct prediction. You can see how it’s possible that the farmers Almanac, based off of this process, conceivably be 80% accurate.
OK, so maybe the Farmer’s Almanac isn’t the best way to predict the future weather. You have just as much chance of getting it correctly as flipping a coin. But what about other ways people have previously indicated the weather?
That’s right, wooly worms. Well, they look more like caterpillars; these worms have been used in the past to tell to predict the weather. Particularly but winter weather.
Normal: Wide brown band or all black? Be prepared for a cool cold weather winter weather but nothing too crazy.
Cold: If you see these worms before the first frost, the winter is probably going to be a cold one. Watch out for baby worms, which are usually only seen in the summer, indicates a rough winter weather season.
See a squirrel bulking up? Are they building higher nests? Prepare for harsh winter. Animals are intuitive. Ever think your dog can tell when a storm is coming? Squirrels are great at predicting winter. So, if you see a pleasantly plump squirrel, prepare for a harsh winter!
Are the leaves this fall looking exceptionally bright? Then you better prepare for snow. Leaves dropping early? Then a mild winter is ahead. Perhaps the leaves are clinging to the tree for longer? Well…a severe winter is ahead.
Yes, I said persimmons. The lore says that if you cut a persimmon seed in half, the inside will tell you what you can expect the upcoming winter.
- Fork shape: mild winter and light snow
- Knife shape: freezing winter
- Spoon shape: Heavy snow
So, which one of these methods is the most accurate? Well, you might as flip a coin. You are better off preparing for a harsh winter. Preparing for a heavy snow season will give you an advantage, and you won’t have to find a persimmon or stake out some squirrels.
Prepare for this winter snow, contact Transblue to help with your preparations.
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