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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Nature Agrees With Almanac’s Winter Outlook!

Nature Agrees With Almanac’s Winter Outlook!

How the Farmers’ Almanac makes its long-range weather forecasts is the question of the week. With the release of the new edition and our “Numbingly Cold” winter outlook, people are wondering if we look to folklore or cues from nature when making our predictions.

The answer: No. While the Farmers’ Almanac appreciates and recognizes weather folklore as sometimes very accurate local indicators, we do not count acorns or look to caterpillars to make our predictions.

Instead, we rely on a 192-year-old mathematical and astronomical formula that has served us and our readers very well for nearly 200 years.

However, we do recognize that some weather lore is very accurate. Weather lore relies on the notion that there is a strong cause-and-effect relationship between nature and the weather. And this August, the clues that Mother Nature has been leaving agree with the Farmers’ Almanac’s forecast — a cold winter is on tap.

Here are a few natural signs of a harsh winter that readers and web visitors
have been sharing with us:

Spoon-shaped persimmon seeds spotted!
Several web visitors have reported that inside their persimmon seeds, they can clearly see the shape of a spoon, which is believed to forewarn of a harsh winter with heavy wet snow. (A fork shape denotes a mild winter with light powdery snow, and a knife shape indicates an icy winter with cutting winds.)

Other observations that support our cold winter forecast include:

  • Large spider webs everywhere
  • Thick hickory nutshells
  • Thick and tight corn shucks
  • Squirrels suddenly storing nuts instead of eating them
  • Thick bark on trees
  • Trees already turning colors
  • Earlier than normal migration of starlings and geese
  • Acorns falling profusely off trees
  • Bears searching for foods in backyards (earlier than usual)

Have you noticed any signs from nature that may be pointing towards a cold winter? Be sure to share your observations at our forum.

Wondering what other cues from nature hint towards a rough winter? Read this article now.

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.