The Old Farmer's Almanac by Robert B. Thomas (by the Yankee Publishing Incorporated), has been an old standby of weather-watchers since 1792. In addition to the off-the-beaten-path information such as a ranking of the brightest stars, gardening tips, recipes, meteor shower dates, the folksy tone offers a full-year forecast of the weather around the country.The Almanac claims they "derive their weather forecasts from a secret formula, devised by the founder in 1792, which is enhanced by modern of scientific calculations based on solar activity and current meteorological data."
It would seem that such down-home weather predicting would be bumped for the latest doppler-radar technology or the nightly news. Yet, the Farmer's Almanac has a surprising solid track record. "We know from our own tracking that we can be anywhere from 60 to 90 percent accurate each year," says Susan Peery, Managing Editor of The Old Farmer's Almanac.
That's why two centuries later the book still has a dedicated following from farmers to ski bums.
So, what does the Old Farmer's Almanac say is in store this season for skiers?
Pacific Region: Mostly good news here, although the Cascades may not receive the super dumps that they did last year. The Almanac predicts it will be a cooler this winter with precipitation nearly everyday and snowfall near or above-normal. Skiers should benefit from stormy periods that will persist in mid and late-December, mid-January, and early and mid-February.
Rocky Mountain Region: Good news for skiers here. Winter will be colder than normal with close-to above-average snowfall. The Almanac predicted the Rockies' unseasonably warm November temperatures, but says that now a "colder-than-normal winter will follow." As is typical for a Rocky Mountain winter, the Almanac says there will be two or three huge dumps of snow in mid-January, late-February, and late March. The Almanac also expects a great spring skiing season with good chances at snow in April and May.
Midwest: The Almanac says it's business as usual in the Midwest: near normal temperatures throughout the winter are expected. Although lake-effect snowfall will be a factor, the Almanac expects a below-normal snowfall for the rest of the Midwest. The Almanac is predicting a white Christmas in the Great Lakes region and record-low temperatures are expected in February in the northern states.
New England: Overall, old man winter will remain consistent this winter with temperatures and precipitation close to normal. Although, snowfall may be above-average in the north. Big snowstorms are expected in mid-December and early-February. Watch out for record cold temperatures in January. Head to New York ski areas in late March for a widespread snowstorm.
Mid-Atlantic: Winter will be spotty in this region. After a milder and drier November and December, the Almanac reports that "January will bring winter's fury." Look for very cold temperatures and snow. March should bring another brief bout of winter, before the spring begins to settle in.
Southeast: Winter will be cooler this year, with above-average snowfall. Skiers should watch for big snow storms in early December and mid-January. Winter could linger in this region with a chilly weather in February and late freezes in March.
Southwest: The Almanac's forecast splits this region into north and south. The northern region--where most of the ski areas in New Mexico, Southern Colorado, and Arizona reside--shares the same cold, snowy forecast as the Rockies. Along with the normal snow flurries, there should be a few mega dumps in January through March. Skiers can also expect spring snowstorms. Further south, the Almanac predicts a warmer and drier winter than normal for the desert Southwest--perhaps a good spot to warm up apres-ski.