Two Farmers Almanacs: 2021-2022 Edition!
Two Almanacs, What’s The Difference?
It’s that time of year again, where long-range winter forecasts get us skiers and snowboarders dreaming of frostier days and fresh powder turns. But what is the difference between these two almanacs known for predicting what Old Man Winter has in store in the months ahead? (Other than the placement of the apostrophe?)
Well, they’re actually pretty similar on the surface and include the word “farmer”. So there’s that. Both the Old Farmer’s Almanac and the Farmers’ Almanac have been predicting weather for at least 200 years and each employ somewhat similar techniques to crafting these predictions.
However, there are a few key nuances that set them apart from one another. The details of those differences, as well as a peek at each of their most recent predictions for this winter are below!
The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Founder: Robert B. Thomas
Location: Dublin, New Hampshire
Prediction Formula: Thomas believed Earth’s weather was influenced by magnetic storms on the surface of the sun. He developed a secret weather prediction formula based on that belief. Notes about that formula are locked in a black box in the almanac’s offices. (More eye rolls.)
This secret formula has been refined over the years to include more scientific calculations:
- solar science, the study of sunspots and other solar activity
- climatology, the study of prevailing weather patterns
- meteorology, the study of the atmosphere
Accuracy Rate: 80 percent — though many modern meteorologists may have their suspicions.
Predictions made: up to 18 months in advance for 18 regions in the U.S. and seven in Canada
The Farmers’ Almanac
Founder: David Young
Location: Lewiston, Maine
Prediction Formula: The Farmers’ Almanac takes into account things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the moon, the position of the planets and a variety of other factors. The editors deny using any type of computer satellite-tracking equipment, weather lore or groundhogs. (Sorry, Phil.) The only person who knows the exact formula is the almanac’s weather prognosticator who goes by the pseudonym Caleb Weatherbee.
Claimed accuracy rate: 80 to 85 percent — though modern meteorologists don’t think so.
Predictions made: 16 months in advance for seven climate zones in the U.S. and five in Canada
Breaking News – Winter Will Be Cold?
No drastic, groundbreaking revelations in the latest forecasts from the Old Farmer or the Farmers. General consensus is winter will once again be cold. Got it. Noted. And while the tradition and mystique of these agriculturally forward prognosticators is appreciated, we at TSR place our forecasting trust in the team over at OpenSnow. Every one of their meteorologists is also a passionate skier or rider, so they have our best interests and powder days at heart. And lucky for you they also just shared the long range forecast from NOAA (The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Here is what they show for the upcoming skiing and riding season.
All we can say is have fun with the long-range predictions. Even the very best weather people can be 100% accurate 50% of the time. The powder picture will start to get clearer and or cloudier as we get closer to ski lifts running. And even then, things can change as fast as a snowflake melts. So keep your eyes on the sky and start those snow dances. We’ll be doing the same!