Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. in for a snowy winter, says the Farmers' Alamanac

The almanac's editor, Peter Geiger, says the province will face five big storms this winter.

Editor says province will face 5 big winter storms

The Farmers' Almanac has been predicting seasonal weather patterns for Canada and the United States for 200 years. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

If you have big plans for Easter, you may want to think again. Fall may have just started, but the Farmers' Almanac is already predicting that six months from now we are in for a big storm.

"It's going to be a true winter, with something like 335 centimetres of snow," said Peter Geiger, the almanac's editor.

This year's edition claims that, after a damp fall, the province will see its first wet "nuisance" snowfall in November. Geiger expects the province will see light snow over Christmas, with the first "blustery and heavy snow" coming in mid-January.

Secret weather formula

When it comes to forecasting the weather, the 200-year-old publication claims to have an 80 per cent accuracy rate. How they do it is actually a trade secret developed way back in 1818.

Geiger said it's part of a "mathematical formula that looks at sun spot activity, planet positions and the effect the moon has on the Earth." 

On the less scientific side, Geiger, who works out of Lewiston, Maine, said "the stories people tell us about caterpillars and acorns are the most fun."

Judging by the number of dogberries on the trees this fall, the Farmers' Almanac may be right. (Fred Hutton/CBC )

In this province, equivalent weather cues come from your grandmother's arthritic knee or dogberries. If you rely on the latter, when they are plentiful — as they seem to be this year — it means we are in for a harsh winter. 

Geiger said the almanac forecasts the weather two years out and he is happy when he "gets it right," but is "happier when the weather is what somebody wants." 

Dogberries and achy joints aside, everyone knows in Newfoundland if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. 

About the Author

Fred Hutton

CBC News

Fred Hutton co-hosts the St. John's Morning Show, and contributes to Here & Now and CBC N.L.'s digital platforms.