New hydrologist’s almanac

I heard on the radio that the Old Farmer’s Almanac is North America’s oldest continuously published periodical. The paper version of the iconic magazine – (you can now buy an online version) – still comes with the hole in the corner so it can hang in outhouses.

Its first publication dates back to 1792.

That makes it a full 138 years older than our very own Tamiami Trail.

And it also makes the Almanac 218 years older than The South Florida Watershed Journal, although I have obliged on this post by placing a hole in the upper left hand corner of the page, to hang alongside the Almanac if need be.

This year’s installment of the Old Farmer’s Almanac has good and bad news for Florida.

First the good news

And hold your seat on this one, because this is “the news” we’ve be waiting for in Florida:

Global cooling is predicted to make a comeback.

And even better: The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts the impending cooling period to last for decades.

I don’t want to go into details – in fact I have a long tradition of suspending my disbelief and glossing over the fine print when it comes to wishful thinking – but it’s based on sun spot cycles.

If it happens, Florida beach enthusiasts everywhere can breathe a big sigh of relief. And it could be exactly what the doctor ordered to propel Florida out of its current housing slump and into another boom.

All that newly exposed land would be beach front property!

Now the bad news:

It also predicts another active hurricane season for 2009, especially for Florida.

But that would be a small price to pay for the good news.

The Almanac and this journal have a few things in common to be sure, the most obvious being a fascination with the weather.

But there are a few differences too.

I am in the business of counting raindrops after they fall, the Almanac is in the dicey trade of trying to call them before they even land.

Another difference is cost.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, not to be confused with the “Johnny come lately” Maine-based Farmers Almanac, first published in 1818, costs $6.95.

But The South Florida Watershed Journal is free.

I’ve always said that the best things in life are free:

Free lunches, first year of my new flat panel television … the list goes on.

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