You know we love to see snow here in Beaufort and if you put any faith at all in the Old Farmer’s Almanac then you’ll be just as let down as we were for hopefully seeing some of the white stuff here in the Lowcountry this winter. The 2018 edition, its 225th issue, forecasts a milder winter this year for most of the southeast.
The almanac uses a secret forecasting formula it says is 80 percent accurate and has been in use since 1792 remaining one of the oldest and one of the most popular reference guides in the United States.
The 2018 almanac, just published last month, warns that winter will be much colder than last year’s and lots of snow this winter. The almanac says the South will have a mild but cooler winter with above normal precipitation but the Northeast and Midwest can expect “colder than normal” temperatures and precipitation is supposed to be “above normal.” If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you can expect less precipitation then usual. And in the Inter-mountain and Appalachian regions, where ski enthusiasts would actually like cold temperatures and lots of snow, it’s set to largely be more snowy than usual.
We’ve had some fun snow events here in town over the past several years and we’re always hoping for more, but maybe not this year.
The Christmas storm of 1989 dumped a recorded 6.5 inches of snow at MCAS Beaufort. We’ve had snowfall and even lost power for days during the Blizzard of 1993 when a ‘Noreaster’ blanketed the entire east coast. More recently we’ve had snowfall of a much lesser amount in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 as well, but nothing like in 1989.
Despite a self-proclaimed success rate of 80% most meteorologists question the almanac’s predictions and the validity of its methods.
The Almanac’s secret forecasting formula, locked in a black box somewhere in New Hampshire, was devised by the founder, Robert B. Thomas, who believed the weather was influenced by the magnetic storms on the surface of the sun, or sunspots.
Although originally created for recording and predicting astronomical events, today the Old Farmer’s Almanac does more than predict weather patterns. Readers can also learn about gardening, recipes, the best days to fish, among other helpful tips.
We’re fine with a mild winter but we’d love to see at least a little bit of the white stuff this year…so we’ll hold out hope that the almanac gets it wrong this time around.
Here’s a look at a few sights that we hope to see this winter in Beaufort.