MV writes: “A friend of mine sent me some articles from the Farmer’s Almanac. It looks occult to me at least some of the articles anyway. For example on Wikipedia the Farmer’s Almanac says a variety of methods are used to predict the weather 2 years in advance: The editors say this: “The Farmers’ Almanac will only state publicly that their method is a ‘top secret mathematical and astronomical formula, that relies on sunspot activity, tidal action, planetary position and many other factors.’ Thank you for researching weather the Farmer’s almanac is occult based or not.”
This question is nearly impossible to answer with any degree of accuracy because neither the Farmer’s Almanac nor the Old Farmer’s Almanac will release the methods they use to predict the weather. Even though astrology, which is an occult art, is repeatedly referenced on the websites of both publications, there is no way of knowing whether their famed predictions are based on the occult
The Farmer’s Almanac, which is not to be confused with the Old Farmer’s Almanac, reportedly does not rely upon any type of computer satellite tracking equipment, weather lore, or groundhogs. However, they do admit to relying upon a set of rules that were developed in 1818 by David Young, the Almanac’s first editor.
Young was born to a humble farmer and his wife on January 27, 1781 in Pine Brook, New Jersey. Official biographies refer to him as an astronomer, poet, teacher and Almanac maker. Young, who served as editor until his death in 1852, is credited for developing the secret rules for predicting the weather that are still used by the publication today.
“These rules have been altered slightly and turned into a formula that is both mathematical and astronomical. The formula takes things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, position of the planets, and a variety of other factors into consideration,” the website explains.
“The only person who knows the exact formula is the Farmers’ Almanac weather prognosticator who goes by the pseudonym of Caleb Weatherbee. To protect this proprietary and reliable formula, the editors of the Farmers’ Almanac prefer to keep both Caleb’s true identity and the formula a closely guarded brand secret.”
A freelance writer named Jessica Hullinger did some digging about the Almanac a few years ago and published an article appearing on the internet magazine Mental Floss who asked a few bona fide meteorologists if sunspot activity, lunar cycles, and planetary positioning have any impact on seasonal weather predictions. With the exception of sunspot activity, which is said to have a “slight” influence on the Earth’s weather, neither lunar cycles or planetary position have any impact on our weather.
Even though it’s impossible to know exactly what they rely upon, it’s important to note that the Farmer’s Almanac does include a page about astrology on its website and makes frequent reference to zodiac signs on its blog.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a similar history. It was founded in 1792 by Robert B. Thomas who also claims to have produced a secret formula for predicting the weather. His formula relies upon astronomical cycles, solar activity and weather patterns. The actual formula is kept in a black tin box in the Almanac offices in Dublin, New Hampshire.
This Almanac actually publishes a book on astrology which recommends relying upon moon phases and zodiac signs when determining when to plant, breed livestock, prune trees and plants, etc.
Regardless of whether or not it is based upon the occult art of astrology, neither of the Almanacs has a good track record of weather predictions. They tout high prediction success rates of up to 85 percent, but meteorologists say that number is closer to 25 or 30 percent.