The Legend of the Black Box and The Old Farmer's Almanac Weather Forecasts

Samantha Jones

The secret to our weather forecasts has been speculated on for some time. Many folks ask us about the "black box" which holds the secret formula. We're also asked about how acorns, corn husks, and folklore influence predictions. We attempt to answer those reader questions!

According to history (and lore?), Almanac founder Robert B. Thomas devised the weather formula in 1792, during George Washington’s first presidential term, relying on not just meteorology but also climate data and sunspots (magnetic storms on the Sun's surface). This formula was locked up in a little black box which hasn't been opened in decades.

Of course, back when The Old Farmer's Almanac began (in 1792), satellite weather tracking and sophisticated weather technology didn't exist. Today, The Old Farmer's Almanac uses all of the latest satellite data for making forecasts. That said, the predictions still rely on a mix of meteorology, climatology, and solar science (sunspots). Learn more about how The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts the weather

Here's a humorous little video from Editor-in-Chief Jud Hale and Almanac editor Janice Stillman about how the Almanac makes its weather predictions.

 

 

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A ROCKWELL (not verified)

10 months ago

Old Sailors: "Red Sky at night; Sailors delight; Red Sky at morn; Sailors take warn...";

laurel alexander (not verified)

3 years 2 months ago

great site