Time For Those “Almanac” Forecasts

6pm Thursday

Do you ever feel the urge to pick up one of those “Farmer’s Almanacs” just to see “what’s going to happen this winter”?  Or maybe you’ve seen some forecasts floating around online?  Apparently a lot of people do!  Here’s the Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast for this coming winter

Farmers Almanac Forecast Is Crap 2a.png

Warm and wet, but mild and snowy eastside…okay…

Now the Farmer’s Almanac forecast.  Yes the apostrophe is in the correct place on this one.

Farmers Almanac Forecast Is Crap 2b

I wonder what the difference is between TEETH-CHATTERING COLD vs. BITING COLD vs. STINGING COLD?  Hmmm…

But how accurate are these forecasts?  Well, it’s not too hard to find opinions, for example:  “…IT NAILED THE SNOWSTORM ON CHRISTMAS EVE LAST YEAR!”.  But there are very few studies looking at its accuracy.  They claim 80% accuracy…wait, I just choked up laughing…

Jan Null at Golden Gate Weather Services here has checked the Old Farmer’s Almanac accuracy in the past, rarely does it do well.

Brian Macmillan and I put together a presentation several years ago based on 4 winters of Old Farmer’s Almanac forecasts.

Farmers Almanac Forecast Is Crap 1

We didn’t analyze any sort of “snow/cold” forecasts because those are quite subjective; just how the temp and precipitation forecasts compared to reality here in Portland.

MarkOldFarmersAlmanac2

The Old Farmer’s Almanac was correct on precipitation anomaly (month-wise) only 50% of the time during the 16 months we analyzed.  As you can see the temperature forecasts (below) were even worse…OFA is wrong far more often than right.

MarkOldFarmersAlmanac1

The conclusion?  These forecasts are often terrible.  I’m quite confident no one is able to forecast daily, weekly, or monthly…many months ahead of time.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

23 Responses to Time For Those “Almanac” Forecasts

  1. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Wow, boring!!!

  2. Ken in Wood Village says:

    Was just looking at the 00Z EURO and I swear, it looks like the Eastern Pacific is getting active with Low’s wanting to come into the PNW.

    When it rains it pours. After a couple of months being quiet in the Atlantic, there are a lot of tropical disturbances coming off Africa now. On the EURO, there is one which becomes a CAT 4 and coming up the East Coast of the US. It’s way out there but thought I would say something since not a whole lot is happening on this coast…lol.

    But don’t forget about Tropical Storm Gordon hitting Florida now and racing into the Gulf of Mexico towards Louisiana. 😦

  3. Jason Hougak says:

    A sign of changing seasons, winter storm warning for the Brooks Range in northern Alaska.

  4. Roland Derksen says:

    A warm and smoky August has come to an end. Somewhat surprisingly, it wasn’t my warmest or driest, but after 4 consecutive months of summer (May to August, essentially) it’s not important- What we do need is a good rainstorm.

    • It looks like we just might get that good rainstorm. Outlook for the next 14 days is for below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation, generally.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

      Bring it on! Time to induce the fall mushroom fruiting. (Yes, those are US maps, but what pertains to northernmost Washington has got to also pertain to southernmost BC.)

  5. Jake in Gresham says:

    Let the predictions commence: … …

    • Ken in Wood Village says:

      To funny Jake…lol. I looked at the 00Z EURO, it looks like we could have a big low in the Gulf of Alaska which would push the high, which has been with us for most of the summer, out of the way and let storms come into our area. That would be a welcome sight to see for the wildfires in the PNW. I wish a big storm would go into California but I don’t see that for now.

  6. oldwxwatcher says:

    It’s sometimes hard enough to forecast 12-24 hours in advance in this area. Prime example: Today’s “morning clouds” are spitting out actual raindrops in E. Portland as I type this.

  7. Ellen Wallace says:

    I know it’s a lot to ask but, can you check the ’67-68 Winter? The animals and insects ( tent caterpillars ) are eating like there is no tomorrow. Was the Summer of ’67 like this year? Memory seems to think so but accuracy is your department!

    • Roland Derksen says:

      The summer of’67 was a warm sunny one all along the PNW. Can’t clearly recall the winter: Up in my location (southern BC) I think it was quite cold and snowy in January, but it wasn’t anywhere as memorable as the winter the following year (68-69).

  8. boydo3 says:

    But they are GREAT outhouse reading material!

  9. Paul D says:

    Mark! Why are you even looking at them!? A complete waste of time!

  10. Ken in Wood Village says:

    I liked looking at those forecasts just because I tried and hoped it would come true so I could not have classes…lol. I forecast we will have a wet winter with some low elevation snow…lmao 🙂

  11. Muxpux (Castle Rock) says:

    As a kid they were fun to look at and daydream over, but yeah, as an accurate forecasting tool? Not even close. Might as well throw darts at a wheel of weather.

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