2008 will be warmest in 100 years, Farmer’s Almanac says

DUBLIN, N.H. — The Old Farmer’s Almanac says it used time-honored, complex calculations to predict that 2008 will be the warmest year in a century, along with a bit of folklore — years that end in “8” have weird weather.

People still talk about the frigid winters of 1748 and 1888, the tornadoes of 1908, and the Northeast hurricane of 1938.

“At the very least, we expect it to be the warmest year in the last century overall, so people will talk about it for that reason alone,” said publisher John Pierce.

This year’s edition, on newsstands Wednesday, predicts a warmer than average winter in much of the country. Believers can look for below-average snowfall, except for a narrow swath extending from northeast Texas to northern New England.

Claiming a secret formula based on sunspots as well as meteorology, the almanac forecasts a hot summer in most areas, but cool and dry in the upper Midwest. It says there will be more rain than normal — except in Florida and the already dry West.

The Almanac, established in 1792, is North America’s oldest continuously published periodical. The little yellow magazine still comes with the hole in the corner so it can be hung in outhouses for leisurely reading. It boasts 18.5 million readers.

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