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Farmers Almanac
The 2016 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

How Does the Farmers’ Almanac Predict the Weather?

No we don’t have the groundhog on our staff, nor do we use computers or weather folklore to make our long-range projections.

The Farmers’ Almanac weather predictions are based on a secret mathematical and astronomical formula. Developed in 1818 by David Young, the Almanac‘s first editor, this formula takes many factors into consideration, including sunspot activity, moon phases, tidal action, and more. This carefully guarded formula has been passed along from calculator to calculator and has never been revealed.

The only person who knows all the details of our formula is Caleb Weatherbee, our esteemed weather prognosticator. The formula itself is locked in the heart and mind of its calculator. While Caleb is a real person who lives somewhere in the United States, his true identity and name are secret.

Unlike your local news, government, or commercial weather service, our forecasts are calculated several years in advance. Once the new year’s Farmers’ Almanac is printed, we never go back to change or update our forecasts the way other local sources do.

Though weather forecasting, and long-range forecasting in particular, remains an inexact science, many longtime Almanac followers claim that our forecasts are 80% to 85% accurate.

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 1919, 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.

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