The 230th edition of the Old Farmer’s Almanac has been released and it says that the US, New Jersey included, is going to have a particularly cold winter.

The venerable publication warns of a “season of shivers” throughout the country, calling for “positively bone-chilling, below-average temperatures.” “This coming winter could well be one of the longest and coldest that we’ve seen in years,” says Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac claims 80% accuracy for its weather forecasts, but other publications peg their success rate at about 52%, which is about the same as flipping a coin.

How do they reach their conclusions? According to their website, by tradition, The Old Farmer’s Almanac employs three scientific disciplines to make long-range predictions: solar science, the study of sunspots and other solar activity; climatology, the study of prevailing weather patterns; and meteorology, the study of the atmosphere. We predict weather trends and events by comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity. Reportedly, the almanac uses a secret formula for its weather forecasts; a formula that is kept under lock and key at their offices in New Hampshire.

Its competitor, the Farmers’ Almanac, is calling for snowfall to be about average for the 2021-22 winter season. Calling for something to be around average seems pretty safe. It refers to the coming winter as a “frosty flip-flop winter” with notable swings in temperatures.

Just between you and me, though, I would stick with the forecasts of our Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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