Back-to-back storms? Exeter almanac writer got it right
Lester Moyer, Berks County's weather vane, must have weather in his veins.
Well, as Lester puts it, in his bones.
Reading Eagle: Bil Urich
Lester Moyer of Exeter Township predicted back-to-back snowstorms.
"When I sit down to write my almanac, I get this feeling in my bones," says Lester, publisher of Moyer's Almanac 2010. "I guess you'd say it's intuition."
Lester's forecasting ability was remarkably on target in predicting the back-to-back storms that buried Berks County under more than 3 feet of snow.
Back in December, Lester told Reading Eagle weather maven Keith Mayer that there would be two storms in early February.
In the almanac, Lester predicts bad weather days on Feb. 4 and 5 - Berks got 17.2 inches Feb. 5. He also predicted "something wicked this way cometh" Feb. 8 to 11 - we got 23 inches in a blustery storm on Wednesday, which was Feb. 10.
Lester was a bit off on the amount of snow, but had the timing down pat.
So, how does he do it?
Surrounded by shelves of almanacs Friday in his Exeter Township home, Lester explained his brand of forecasting.
Lester's technique would confound a mathematician and make an AccuWeather meteorologist cringe.
It goes something like this: the phase of the moon, plus the direction of the wind, times Lester's intuition, equals the weather.
That, of course, is an oversimplification.
Lester is a walking history book on Berks County weather, and he traces his intuition to his Lenni Lenape ancestors.
His grandmother, he says, was the daughter of a Lenape chief. His dad, the late Samuel G. Fetter, was half-Lenape.
"My dad couldn't read or write and he only spoke Pennsylvania Dutch," Lester said. "But he knew how to read the moon, the sky and the wind."
His father, Lester recalls, would go out behind the barn at 9 every night and read the next day's weather in the sky. Apparently, he passed the ability on to his son.
So, are we in for more snow?
On or around March 7, Lester predicts, we'll get "the granddaddy of 'em all" for this winter.
According to Lester's almanac, the moon shows high winds and drifting snow on the 7th - a recipe for another snowmageddon.