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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

In Anticipation of Summer

It seems like an eternity since we released our 2009 edition last August. At the time we were enjoying a fairly pleasant summer. But, there  are two seasons of anticipation. The first  is at the end of summer when we get a bit anxious about when it will freeze and when will it snow. Let’s face it, a harsh winter is usually talk for those living in northern states but as I reflect on this past winter, I am struck by how far and wide the cold reached.

There were reports of record cold temps in Jacksonville Fla., damage to the citrus crop, plus snow in Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, New Orleans, outside Las Vegas and  Southern California. Geography was no escape for this white rain. The Midwest had brutal storms and folks in  Kentucky will never forget their January “ice storm of the century”. In fact, they are still recovering from that one. So, we said to “anticipate”  a winter that would be remembered as containing  “numbingly cold” temperatures. In Maine the natives usually wear shorts during the winter but that wasn’t the case when  the coldest temperature on record – a chilling -50 degrees(F) - occurred on January 16th. It tied Maine with Vermont for coldest recorded temperature in New England.

By mid March there is a second anticipation of Spring and Summer. Everyone is not snowbound or freezing but we  are all planning for the days we go outdoors without the fear of a freeze That is where you can turn to your Farmers’ Almanac.  This week we are releasing our weather predictions for the United States and Canada. While many places are still going to be cold a bit longer, and the average last freeze date for most of the country is still to come, summer shows promise. In fact, now is the time to plan your vacation getaway.
I have one  employee who has planned 19  consecutive vacations by the Farmers’ Almanac and has never been disappointed. We anticipate a fairly wet, even soggy summer for 2/3rds of the US. Canada should be dry on the west coast but wet or downright soggy elsewhere.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.