[Audio] Peek Behind the Pages of the The Old Farmer's Almanac 2016 Edition
The Old Farmer's Almanac is the longest published periodical in North America, in continuous publication since 1792. Their 2016 edition was released in September and Tracy Ross speaks with Senior Associate Editor, Sarah Perreault about the new issue, methodologies for weather forecasting and work underway on the 2017 anniversary issue.
Sarah Perreault says a lot of people grew up with an Old Farmer's Almanac in their house so she thinks the popularity of the publication is that it provides comfort to people with updated information every year and "a pleasant degree of humor." For the most part, the current issues look similar to the originals (though they're now around 200 pages and the early ones were only 20 or 30 pages).
Each year, editors meet to discuss ideas in certain categories, like astronomy, folklore, husbandry, weather and gardening. Information that gets cut from the book finds its way on their website.
For their weather forecasts, a meteorologist works on predictions using data from previous seasons. Perreault says they have an 80% accuracy, and that last year was one of their most accurate at 96.3%. Of the 18 regions represented in the book, the WKMS listening area is largely situated in the Ohio Valley region. These are determined by the climatological movement of weather systems, she says. If weather doesn't fit into one region, they'll change the lines.
The published variations include Southern, Western, National (New England area) and Canadian editions. The Canadian edition features stories specific to Canada, but the other three differ by moonrise, moonset, sunrise, sunset and tide times.
The 2017 edition is already underway and will be the 225th anniversary edition. Perreault says she hopes this one will be very memorable. A reader recipe contest will be featured in this edition, and she asks people to send their best savory pie recipes (like chicken pot pie) by January.