Farm­ers’ Al­manac pre­dicts nasty win­ter for US north­east

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

It’s not what U. S. north­east­ern­ers want to hear: The Farmer’s Al­manac is pre­dict­ing another rough win­ter for the U. S. North­east.

A year af­ter the north­east­ern city Bos­ton was pum­meled with the snowiest win­ter on record, ed­i­tors of the Maine- based pub­li­ca­tion have dubbed their latest forecast a “win­ter deja vu,” hear­ken­ing to last win­ter’s mis­ery across the North­east.

Us­ing a for­mula built on sunspots, moon phases and tidal ac­tion, the 199- year- old al­manac that hits news­stands this week pre­dicts cold and snowy weather from Maine to Mon­tana.

“Say it isn’t snow!” quipped Editor Peter Geiger.

The ed­i­tors aren’t afraid to go out on a limb. Among their long- term pro­jec­tions in the 2016 edi­tion: Fab­u­lous weather from coast to coast for the U. S. elec­tion day that will take place early Novem­ber, some­thing that could boost the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion turnout, Geiger said.

Also, the un­sea­son­ably cold tem­per­a­tures are sup­posed to dip down as far as Ken­tucky this win­ter, the al­manac says. Ed­i­tors pre­dict milder weather out West, and chilly and wet weather for the South.

The pub­li­ca­tion, not to be con­fused with the New Hamp­shire­based Old Farmer’s Al­manac, uses a pre­dic­tion method largely un­changed since the first al­manac was pub­lished in 1818.

Mod­ern sci­en­tists con­sider such method­ol­ogy to be tom­fool­ery. But long- term fore­casts can be vex­ing even for con­ven­tional sci­en­tists.

Mike Halpert, deputy di­rec­tor of the Cli­mate Pre­dic­tion Cen­ter, likened long- term fore­casts to find­ing a “small sig­nal em­bed­ded in a lot of noise.” The cen­ter’s forecast for the past mild win­ter was largely cor­rect, ex­cept for the frozen New Eng­land. The “po­lar vor­tex” pro­vided another sur­prise for the fed­eral fore­cast­ers dur­ing the pre­vi­ous win­ter.

Last win­ter, the al­manac’s pre­dic­tion of “shiv­ery and shov­elry” came true in the north­east­ern New Eng­land states, where Bos­ton recorded more than 250 cen­time­ters of snow — nearly 165 cen­time­ters in Fe­bru­ary alone — and set a new snow­fall record. But the al­manac didn’t nail it ev­ery­where: out West, it was un­usu­ally warm while the al­manac pro­jected cool tem­per­a­tures.

The al­manac is a time- hon­ored tra­di­tion with gar­den­ing tips, weather, astrology and life hacks.

The al­manac dis­trib­utes 1 mil­lion re­tail copies and 2.5 mil­lion pro­mo­tional ver­sions. But it also has 350,000 sub­scribers to a weekly email blast, 850,000 Face­book f ol­low­ers, nearly 25,000 Twit­ter fol­low­ers and more than 13,000 In­sta­gram fol­low­ers. There’s also an app for smart­phones and tablets.

“It’s not your grand­par­ents’ al­manac, any­more,” Geiger said.

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