Farmer's Almanac issues its winter forecast: Can you trust it?
The Old Farmer's Almanac, the centuries-old soothsayer of climate and crop yields, has issued its winter warning: "Prepare for a season of shivers."
According to the publication, which was founded in 1792, various factors including a weak La Niña — a weather pattern that sees the Polar Jet Stream dip lower across North America — will bring a cold and wet winter to Pennsylvania.
“This coming winter could well be one of the longest and coldest that we’ve seen in years,” said the almanac's editor, Janice Stillman, in a written statement.
Its forecast calls for much of the Atlantic region to experience colder than normal temperatures with slightly below average precipitation. A vast stretch of the Midwest, extending from Kansas and Missouri across the Ohio River Valley to Pittsburgh, will experience snowier conditions, according to the almanac.
The almanac has managed to maintain a loyal audience for centuries. In addition to its long-term weather forecast, the publication includes a lunar calendar, gardening tips, recipes and even self-help advice.
Its publishers claim an 80% accuracy rate, although many meteorologists remain skeptical. A review conducted by Jan Null in 2016 and 2017 found just a 25% accuracy across the various regions the almanac forecasted in those years.
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The University of Illinois, meanwhile, concluded in 2019 that roughly 52% of the almanac's precipitation forecasts and 51% of its temperature predictions were accurate.
So, flip a coin.
Either way, it may be time to start dusting off your winter clothes.