Farmers' Almanac uses 'mathematical formula' for winter forecasts

The Farmers' Almanac has been forecasting weather for more than 200 years using a mathematical formula that they created.

The Farmers' Almanac has been forecasting weather for more than 200 years.

First published in 1818, the Farmers' Almanac has spanned three centuries.

The almanac is known for predicting its long-range winter forecasts and providing articles about gardening, cooking and home remedies.  

Peter Geiger, the editor of the Farmers' Almanac, says that the way they create their winter forecast is not from climate models but old-fashioned math.


"Our first editor, David Young, developed a formula that's applied to a mathematical formula, applied to sunspot activity, point positions, the effect the moon has on the earth," he said.

Geiger says that the accuracy of the forecast comes down to how little amount editors work on the almanac and the winter forecast.

"In 206 years, we had seven prognosticators. So, there's been a great deal of consistency among the people doing our weather," he said.

The Farmers' Alamanac calls this winter's forecast "Shake! Shiver! Shovel!" and predicts that it will be a frigid winter for most.

The almanac breaks down the country into seven different regions and provides forecasts for each.
"I think it is going to be cold," Geiger said. "With the exception of the Southwest, it should be a pretty, pretty cold winter."

And while the Farmers' Almanac is calling for quite the cold winter across most of the country, NOAA's forecast predicts a greater-than-average chance of a warm winter across the Southwest, Southern Plains and the entire Eastern Seaboard.