Question: My wife’s grandfather used a weather-predicting method he called “the old 12 days.” I believe he analyzed the last six days of a year and the first six days of the next year, with each day representing one month. Are you familiar with this method?
Answer: There are at least a half dozen time periods mentioned in folklore to forecast the weather for the coming year – including one that says the 12 days between “New Christmas” (December 25) and “Old Christmas” (January 5) foretell a year’s worth of weather. The Old Farmer’s Almanac uses a secret formula to predict the weather. Robert B. Thomas, who founded the Almanac in 1792, did not, however, use certain days in December and January for his forecasts. He also did not use woolly worms, wasps’ nests, or the number of nuts squirrels gathered, all of which occurred in the fall, after his July publishing deadline.