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Farmer’s Almanac Predicts An Old-Fashioned ‘Biting Cold’ Winter; But, Nothing Like “The Year Without A Summer”

Flood damage in the Village of Ilion during the Floods of 2013. (Photo by Luke Tubia, WIBX)

The Summer of 2013 will go down in the history books as one with weather extremes.  Heavy rains at the start of the season devastated the area with flooding, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages.  Now, as the summer’s unofficial exit approaches with somewhat pleasant weather forecasted,  the Farmer’s Almanac is releasing their prediction of an unseasonably cold winter on the way.

Based on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles, the almanac’s secret formula is largely unchanged since founder David Young published the first almanac in 1818.

“We’re using a very strong four-letter word to describe this winter, which is C-O-L-D. It’s going to be very cold,” managing editor Sandi Duncan, told the Associated Press. The latest edition of the Farmers Almanac was released on Monday.

Is this weather abnormally crazy?

All of this extreme weather is prompting people to ask the question, “Is this the direct result of man-made climate change?”  While there’s great debate over this question in the scientific world, we can always look to the past to offer up a little solace.

Keeler Family Photo Winter of 1970
A young Bill Keeler and his brother David slide off an “old fashioned” snow bank at their home outside Mohawk during the winter of 1970. Many describe those winters as being much snowier and colder as compared to the winters of today. (Keeler family photo)

Take, for instance, ‘The Year Without a Summer’ in 1816.  This is the year that it snowed here during the month of June. July river ice was reported in rivers as far south as Pennsylvania and temperature swings from the mid-90’s to below freezing were recorded through July and August.

While hearty Northerners were able to handle these cold summer temperatures, agriculture suffered tremendously. As a result, the price of food and grains skyrocketed because crops just wouldn’t grow. Additionally, this abnormality in the weather wasn’t exclusive to North America; it spread across other parts of the world, causing widespread famine.

Can you imagine how we would react today?

If we experienced a “Year Without a Summer” today, the doomsday theorists would be yapping out of control and man-made climate change would almost certainly serve as the explanation. Today, scientists’ say it was volcanic eruptions that caused the crazy weather in 1816 and by the next summer, things were back to normal.

So, what exactly is causing our crazy weather today?  It’s always difficult to know for sure when one scientist theorizes in contrast with another; but, as a laymen digging through history, one conclusion is pretty obvious: maybe it’s not so crazy after all.

Associated Press was a contributing source in this story



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