BY GUESS AND BY GOLLY


| 2/8/2019 8:29:00 AM


Country MoonWeather has always fascinated me so, at different times through my life, I have fancied the idea of being a meteorologist. After all, it is true what they say, that there is no other career where you could be wrong so often and still have a job!

I remember my days working at the radio station where it was my job to write the commercial spots and log them into the play schedule. The DJ’s would give the weather forecast at least every hour but their notes would not be updated as often.  They would be in their sound-proof booths with no windows to the outside reading the forecast when it was doing completely the opposite outside. So many times we had to run in the newsroom, arms flailing, and motion to cut the forecast because as they were predicting sunny weather, it was pouring rain at that moment!

So, how exactly do meteorologists predict the weather, or rather, try to predict it? They use satellites to observe cloud patterns around the world and radar to measure precipitation. They also have other tools to measure air pressure, temperature, wind speed, wind direction and other factors. They take into consideration atmospheric conditions of the past and present. Then all of this data is plugged into super computers so that they can make educated guesses about future weather conditions.

Aha…educated guesses are the two keywords. It is not an exact science. With this said, how can the OLD FARMERS ALMANAC be 80% accurate when predicting the weather over the years? They use a unique age-old formula that was devised by the almanac’s founder, Robert E. Thomas, in 1792. He believed the weather on earth was influenced by sunspots which are magnetic storms on the surface of the sun.

Notes about his formula are locked in a black box in the OLD FARMERS ALMANC offices in Dublin, NH. Although over the years, scientists have refined and enhanced his formula with state-of-the-art technology and modern scientific calculations, the basic formula remains the same. Last year the almanac’s overall accuracy rate in forecasting the direction of temperature range from normal was 83%...not too shabby!



All of this said, farmers, ranchers, and other outdoorsmen throughout history have done a pretty accurate job of weather predicting by just observing nature, animals in particular. If there wasn’t some validity behind them, these sayings would not have stood the test of time. Here are a few choice ones:





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