September 19, 2019
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The Old Farmer’s Almanac says to prepare for a slushy winter

Sam Schipani | BDN
Sam Schipani | BDN
The Old Farmer's Almanac 2020.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that 2020 will be a tumultuous year for weather in New England, punctuated by a slushy winter and a sweltering summer.

Founded in 1792, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which is published out of Dublin, New Hampshire, details long-term weather forecasts for the upcoming year. Even with a number of different “farmer’s almanacs” entering the scene, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is now in its 228th year of publication and sells an estimated 3 million copies each year.

To write its forecasts, the Old Farmer’s Almanac uses a “secret formula” based on a method developed by its founder, Robert B. Thomas, who believed strongly in the influence of magnetic storms on the surface of the sun on the weather patterns here on Earth. The formula has since been updated to consider weather trends and atmospheric conditions as well.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac claims “80 percent accuracy,” though many meteorologists and weather experts are skeptical of the high success rates. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, seven-day weather forecasts are about 80 percent accurate, but forecasts more than 10 days are only accurate about half the time.

Nevertheless, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has been accurate enough to endure among farmers, for whom weather can be a matter of life or death. The 2020 edition shows how the predicted values compared to the actual values for temperature and precipitation last year for major cities in the almanac’s 18 regions. The results: 80 percent accuracy.

New England has a leg up, too: the Old Farmer’s Almanac says it is “fitted for Boston and the New England states, with special corrections and calculations to answer for all the United States.”

Whether you are a farmer or a city dweller, here is what New Englanders can expect in 2020 according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

A “wet & wild” winter

Prepare yourselves for a slushy winter. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that this winter in New England will experience above-average precipitation, but average to below-average snowfall.

Winter will be coldest in January and early February, but expect the bulk of snowfall in November and December 2019, with some more snow in early and late January as well. So, those of you dreaming of a white Christmas may be in luck.

Bad news for winter recreaters, though: the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts more slush and “sludgy messes that freeze during the overnights” than snow.

A warm, dry spring

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has good news for farmers and gardeners who struggled with this year’s wet spring. April and May are predicted to have above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall.

A warm and sunny spring after a wet and wild winter? We’ll take it.

A “wicked hot” summer

The lovely spring, however, will lead into a sweaty summer. The Old Farmer’s Almanac forecasts hotter-than-average temperature all through June, July and early August. In Northern New England, rainfall will be above normal, as well, so brace yourself for summer storms.

A soggy autumn

September and October in New England will be rainier than usual in 2020. In fact, the Old Farmer’s Almanac even predicts a tropical storm threat in mid-October, even though “tropical” and fall seem antithetical in New England.

The 2020 Old Farmer’s Almanac is available on August 27, 2019, wherever books and magazines are sold or online at the Old Farmer’s Almanac website.

 



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