The 217th edition of the Old Farmer's Almanac has been published. Bringing weather predictions since 1792, it is the oldest continuously published periodical in North America. An indispensable guide for the farmer and the gardener. There is now even a children's version of the Almanac.
The Old farmer's Almanac has an uncanny record of predicting the weather in long range forecasts. It is one of those old style books one can pick up anytime and find some interesting titbits. The Almanac comes with a hole punched in the corner, for a piece of string, to hang in the little room in the garden, or wherever one has one's toilet these days.
The founder of the Almanac, Robert Thomas, worked out a secret formula, through complex calculations, to predict weather for the year ahead. This same formula is still used today, and matches the super computers the meteorologists are now using. Certain modifications to the formula have been added, such as solar activity, sunspot cycles and ocean temperatures.
The basic assumption is that, “... nothing in the universe occurs haphazardly; there is a cause-and-effect pattern to all phenomena, including weather. It follows, therefore, that we believe weather is predictable.”
The 2009 edition is going against the general belief that there is a global warming happening. The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts there is a general cooling for decades ahead.
Climatologist and meteorologist Joseph D'Aleo writes, “We at the Almanac are among those who believe that sunspot cycles and their effects on oceans correlate with climate changes. Studying these and other factor suggests that cold, not warm, climate may be our future.”
There are a number of climatologists who believe that sunspot activity has a much stronger influence on the Earth’s climate than greenhouse gases.
On the subject of global warming, the Almanac's Editor-in-Chief Jud Hale said, “We say that if human beings were not contributing to global warming, it would become real cold in the next 50 years.”
Northern Eastern parts of North America can expect a cold period to start in the beginning of November with an average of 8 degrees below average. The Northeast will receive heavy snow, but in the first months of next year there will also be less precipitation, so a drier spring can be expected. The northern Plains though will have above normal winter temperatures. Summer will be warmer than normal and drier.
This year the number of sunspots has averaged 3 per month against 50 to 100, which has been the norm for the first half of this decade. Now August bottomed out with zero sunspots.
In his book “The Chilling Stars: The New Theory of Climate Change,” the author and physicist Henrik Svensmark explains how galactic cosmic rays, increase the formation of molecular clusters that promote cloud growth. The sun's magnetic field partially shields the Earth from these galactic cosmic rays, although the correlation between clouds and cosmic rays is complex, this relationship is a larger factor in climate change than greenhouse gases.
In the late 60s the talk was about a coming ice age. From the mid 70s the global warming idea caught on and is now almost hysterical. It appears global cooling is still on the cards. Global Warming is on hold. Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico's Institute of Geophysics has predicted there will be a global cooling in two years, which will last for 60 to 80 years.
The predictions for last winter in the Old Farmer's Almanac were 90% accurate on rain and snowfalls, and less than a degree off in average temperature predictions.