In its fifth year of local forecasting and story sharing, Doyle’s 2020 Almanac of Newfoundland and Labrador hits shelves just in time for winter. Brrrrring it on!
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and their love of weather was part of the motivation behind the launch of Doyle’s Almanac five years ago. But so was collecting the stories from this place we all call home.
“We have this neighborhood pharmacy in downtown St. John’s and we have a lot of old pharmacy display cases and there’s local artifacts that include a lot of old bottles and almanacs and other books,’’ begins author Robert Doyle who created the series alongside Science Editor Augustus Fanning.
Doyle’s grandfather was trained as a pharmacist back in 1912.
“He traveled around the province a lot and when he was selling his pharmaceutical products he collected a lot of poems and songs and stories.”
A customer commented on the displayed collection and mentioned his talent at local forecasting. Doyle, who had always wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and pen some books on local lore, was intrigued. That customer was Fanning. The two partnered up.
“We decided to combine our skills and passion and came up with the Doyle’s Almanac. I do Newfoundland stories and Fanning does all the forecasting for the province.”
The question everyone wants answered is this; what will this winter be like? “Fanning has been fairly accurate and he’s done some analysis over the past five years for predictions. He’s been 60 to 65 per cent accurate. There’s a lot of statistical analysis. He looks back to what’s after happening in the past hundred years. He has data from all the weather stations around the province. And so he’s predicting this year it’s going to be a cold winter and we’ll get up to 10 snow days. So it’s going to be a little bit rough this winter.”
Doyle, who doesn’t mind being out there when it comes to sharing the good, and the bad, of potential local forecasting, is prepared foe whatever comes.
“Better get your shovels ready,” he laughs.
Feedback on past editions has been positive, he shares. “It’s been great. People love talking weather in this province. But I think the biggest thing people love about the book is the local aspect. So if we’re doing the sunrise and sunset tables or phases of the moon or the tides, it’s in Newfoundland Labrador times. People love that aspect of it, that it’s all local.”
There’s recipes and pictures and stories and poems and history; it’s all in there. And, of course, weather.
Bottom line, Doyle and Fanning have enjoyed the journey. “We are great partners. It’s a real local partnership and team effort and each year we try and stick with who we are; we are shaped by the land and the sea here. So we try and do some stories about that.”
From winter storms to hurricanes to a yarn with Buddy Wasisname’s Ray Johnson on embracing our culture through music and humour; it’s all inside. “This is just a fun venture for us, and also informative and entertaining for those who pick it up.”
For more information on Doyle’s Almanac, visit doylesalmanacnl.ca