Just when I was hoping for a mild fall and an easy, down-on-the-farm winter, the hot off the press 2010 Farmers’ Almanac shows up on my desk, heralding frigid winter weather for my part of the world. In 2010 Farmers’ Almanac Managing Editor Sandi Duncan’s words, we should expect an “ice cold sandwich” when winter finally settles in. I wonder just when it will settle in, down here in Kansas. Judging by this week’s highs, I think it might be sooner, rather than later.
“With the economy still shaky, and people keeping an eye on their spending,” reports Peter Geiger, Philom., 2010 Farmers’ Almanac Editor, “the winter weather outlook is more important than ever. Many folks are looking to the most respected sources for long-range weather outlook–the Farmers’ Almanac–so they can prepare for whatever Mother Nature may send their way.”
Last year, the 2009 Farmers’ Almanac predicted an exceptionally long, cold winter for most regions. As promised, bitter cold and heavy snow punished much of the nation, coming on early in the season and lingering through the start of spring. When spring finally did arrive, it came bearing heavy rains, with twice the annual average falling in many regions.
The 2010 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac warns that this winter’s frigid forecast offers no respite, especially for states in the center of the country. “Very cold and bitterly cold” is how the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac describes the winter in the Great Lakes, Plains, and South Central states, while temperatures on the East and West Coasts will be more in line with average to normal winter conditions. For residents of the East Coast, who bore most of the brunt of last winter’s fury, this may be good news.
While nearly three-quarters of the country is expected to experience near or below average precipitation this winter, significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone. Residents of Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states can expect some a major snowfall in mid-February, with possible blizzard conditions in New England.
“People on the coasts shouldn’t think they’re off the hook just because we’re predicting milder winter weather for them. Shovelry is most certainly not dead,” Geiger says.
The 2010 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac offers more than just the publication’s famous long-range weather forecasts, though. It also contains invaluable tips on how to save money and energy, plus practical ways to live a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle. The 2010 Farmers’ Almanac is filled with more thrifty and smart living advice than ever before, with articles on the economics of going green, the dirt on fighting germs naturally, tips on reusing household items, and reducing our dependency on convenience items.
There are also dozens of pages of practical home and garden advice, including proven tips on stretching your meal budget, easy instructions for canning fresh fruits and vegetables for the winter, a list of the top five easiest vegetables to grow, a list of steps to take now for a better garden next spring, as well as the Farmers’ Almanac’s beloved calendar of Best Days to quit smoking, find a new job and more, the exclusive Gardening by the Moon Calendar, and valuable outdoor advice, including average frost and peak foliage dates, and tips for safe hunting and fishing.
Weather is the most talked about subject on earth, which makes the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac weather predictions a hot topic. Fans of the Almanac say its famous long-range forecast is accurate between 80 and 85 percent of the time. The predictions are based on mathematical and astronomical formula that dates back to 1818, and each new edition contains 16 months of weather forecasts for the contiguous United States.
The 2010 Farmers’ Almanac retails for $5.99 in stores everywhere and online. I keep copies of the Farmers’ Almanac handy … both at work and on the farm. I consult its pages for everything from when to plant my potatoes to the best days to go fishing. If you don’t yet have your copy of the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac, you quite simply aren’t prepared.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.