PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The sun beating down, temperatures rising, thunderstorms brewing, all trademarks of a hot August day in our neck of the woods.
But, before you know it, we will be measuring wind chills, craving pumpkin spice anything, no longer complaining about our masks and bracing for ice and snow from the heavens.
2020 has proved to be far from the rule in so many things including the weather.
So what will 2021 bring?
Enter the Farmer’s Almanac which has been at it since 1818.
This year’s almanac is different because for the first time it acknowledges a current crisis.
Through wars and more, the Farmer’s Almanac had maintained a course of helping farmers and others with daily life.
This year, Editor and Philom Pete Geiger says they are acknowledging the challenges of the pandemic.
“We really want people to know that the almanac is about how to empower you to overcome these obstacles,” he said. “Whether it’s planting food, or washing food you pick up at the grocery [store] and you’re worried about contamination, whether it is looking at the signs of a hard winter because before there was you and I people were looking at nature and what are those signs. And it’s kind of fun.”
WATCH: Pete Geiger Explains The “Winter Of The Great Divide”
While the almanac features all sorts of articles and fun facts it is the long-range weather that keeps people coming back.
“We do it so people can plan, plan a wedding plan a vacation. Next July what’s the weather going to be so people go to us they use us I think we’re successful,” said Geiger.
Geiger says the forecast is prepared two years in advance and is broken into three-day intervals.
“It just so happens when our first editor David Young, who was a mathematician, a calculator, and an astronomer, wanted to forecast weather for farmers,” he said. “He came up with a math formula that used sunspot activity, planet positions, a number of things, and that allowed him to do the weather two years in advance. Over the course of 204 years we’ve had seven weather prognosticators.”
A broad smile lights up Geiger’s face when he’s asked about the almanac’s accuracy rate.
“People tell me we are anywhere from 75-85% in a good year 85 on a bad year maybe 75,” Geiger smiled.
As for the winter to come, Geiger says the almanac has dubbed it the Winter of the Great Divide.
“The west will be dry and a drought,” Geiger explained. “The northern areas very cold and everything in between very chaotic. It’s going to be very weird this year.”
In the Pittsburgh region, Geiger says the September and October will be fairly typical.
“When you get into November and you start talking about rain/snow mixture so for Pittsburgh it will probably be rain and for me, snow,” he said. “But we talk about a couple of storms the 4-7th and the 20-23rd. You get into December we just talk about light snow, snow/rain. So I don’t see it begin iceberg kind of conditions in December.”
Geiger is on a roll as he thumbs the almanac for our weather fate in January.
“Then you start talking about it being cold the first through the third, you’re talking about a storm the 12-15th and then you talk about it being very cold the 16-19th so you’re going to see winter become winter in January,” he explains.
But it’s February that will be the most impactful.
“We talk about the first to the third being mild but then all of a sudden the 4-7th being this incredibly rich storm snow and cold and all that stuff,” he said. “So are we going from three days of mild to a storm, it can happen. It’s in print that’s what we say and we talk about a big blizzard the 12-15 and we end the month on a cold note.”
March will be a rollercoaster of weather but overall milder with lots of wet weather.
“Other parts of the country are going to see some wilder weather than that but yes you’re sitting in a pretty good place,” Geiger says about Pittsburgh.
The Farmers’ Almanac is available in stores and it is also online at the Farmers’ Almanac website.