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Farmers’ Almanac: Fact or Fiction?

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Farmers’ Almanac claims its predictions are accurate about 80 percent of the time. It’s been published since 1818. Its forecasts are based on a secret mathematical formula including the position of planets, tidal action, and sunspots. The 2015 Farmers’ Almanac just came out, and it says we are in for a brutal winter.

Last year Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania experienced one of the coldest winters in recent memory. According to this year’s book, we are in for the same thing this year.

The 2015 Farmer’s Almanac predicts that our winter will be colder than normal and wetter than usual.

But what do actual farmers think of the Farmer’s Almanac’s prediction?

“I don’t pay a lot of attention to it. It’s fun to read and see if things come true, but we’ll wait and see,” said Dick Snyder of Snyder’s Quality Sweet Corn near Montoursville.

Snyder said he does not trust the predictions in the Farmer’s Almanac. He said he gets his weather from a different source, WNEP.

Since Snyder and probably some other farmers follow Newswatch 16 for the forecast, meteorologist Kurt Aaron weighed in on the subject.

“As far as what the climate prediction center NOAA says about this winter: equal chance as far as temperatures, equal chance as far as precipitation,” Aaron said.

Last year’s edition of the Farmer’s Almanac was just about spot-on for our area, given the polar vortex. Some people say they follow it, while others say they don’t.

“Sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s not, but it will be what it is. If we’re going to have a rough winter, that’s how it’s going to be,” said Deborah Slothus of Williamsport.

“I do hear a lot from a lot of elderly individuals I work with in my everyday job and they put a lot of weight on it. It was correct last year,” said Karen Armson of Loyalsock Township.

Everyone we spoke with said they hope the Farmers’ Almanac’s prediction is not true. Even so, we don’t have to worry about that just yet. Summer is not officially over until September 22.

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