Iowans have experienced a long year of severe weather that’s included record snowfalls and flooding and devastating tornadoes. Now, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting another tough winter for the Midwest. Editor Peter Geiger says Iowans can expect above normal snowfall and icy temperatures.
"We talk about having some heavy snows towards the end of November, at least two sizable storms in December," Geiger says, "January looks stormy and even the month of March – there’s talk of some blizzards." Geiger says the Almanac has used the same basic formula for issuing it’s annual weather forecast, since the first edition in 1818.
"We have a mathematical formula and we’re applying it to sunspot activity, planet positions and the effects the moon has on the earth. That’s how we do our weather and we do it two years in advance," Geiger explained. "How others are doing weather obviously changes with technologies."
The Almanac’s editors claim their forecasts are right 80 to 85 percent of the time. Professional meteorologists and climatologists, however, don’t put much stock in the long range forecasts – saying it’s just not realistic to issue predictions so far in advance.