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Old 24 April 2018, 01:14 PM
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Icon81 Farmer's Almanac predicts hazy, hot, humid and wet summer for DC area

https://wtop.com/local/2018/04/farme...st-for-region/

Other than the predicted rainfall, what else is new? It's the DC area--we have beastly hot summers.

Thanks for the long range forecast Capt. Obvious.

ETA: in my experience, May is our rainiest month; the years that we get little to no rain in May are those years where we've hardly gotten any rain at all during the summer, not even a T-Storm.
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Old 24 April 2018, 01:40 PM
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Some years ago, I tracked the Farmers' Almanac against the actual weather for several months.

I don't think anybody here (DawnStorm included) will be surprised that they were often wrong, despite forecasts that were carefully vague enough to cover a lot of possible results (along the lines of 'somewhere in the Northeast, sometime during these four days in July, there will be thunderstorms'.)
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Old 24 April 2018, 03:58 PM
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I did the same thing several years ago as well with the same results.
IMO long range weather forecasts--whether from NOAA or some almanac is a fun game, but that's about it.
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Old 24 April 2018, 04:28 PM
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I have heard one long range forecast in my life that turned out to be entirely accurate. And it was an extremely long range forecast: thirty years, IIRC.

I was at a NOFA conference sometime in the late 1970's or 1980's; and one of the speakers talked about weather and climate. He said that we'd just had a long (by human standards) period of remarkably even weather, much more consistent than they, or at least he (sorry, I've forgotten the guy's name) thought the weather had been during most of the previous large-number-of-thousands of years; and that we'd built a lot of modern civilization in general, and farming in particular, based on the theory that the relatively-predictable weather of the previous fifty years or so was normal.

His long range forecast: 'The weather for the next thirty years will be erratic.'

He was right about that one. And increasing global warming has only made it more so.

-- the NOAA forecasts for the next week, which are what their regular weather forecasts now show, are usually somewhat but far from perfectly accurate about the temperatures, and probably something better than chance but very often wrong about precipitation amounts. Admittedly, it's next to impossible to be accurate about precipitation amounts around here, where I've known it to dump two inches on one side of a hillside and two tenths, or nothing at all, on the other side.
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Old 24 April 2018, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
-- the NOAA forecasts for the next week, which are what their regular weather forecasts now show, are usually somewhat but far from perfectly accurate about the temperatures, and probably something better than chance but very often wrong about precipitation amounts.
When I was working in the UK, I took a Ballistic Meteorology course. We studied weather, clouds etc as it impacts the flight of a projectile. We got to tour the BBC weather studios and talk with academics from various universities when we visited Vaisala.

This was in 2002, but back then they talked about the accuracy of predictions. They had a benchmarks at 50%, 75% and 90%.

The chart went something like this (recalling from memory)

Year 50% 75% 90%
1920 36 hour 24 hour 12 hour
1950 48 hour 36 hour 24 hour
1970 3 day 2 day 1 day
1980 5 day 2 day 1 day
1990 5 day 3 day 1.5 day
2000 7 day 5 day 3 day

What improved in the 1990s was the modelling of whole weather systems (also including oceanic conditions). Prior to that they would look for indications and if enough indications were present, they would rely upon past experience to determine what would happen in the short term future. With the models, they could play the model into the future, and barring any major external inputs, the model would accurately portray what they would experience.

I see know that my usual weather website has a 14 day predicted forecast for weather and temperature as opposed to the 7 day one it had a decade+ ago. I only suspect that the modelling has gotten better.

Modelling helps with Ballistic computations too.
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Old 24 April 2018, 05:21 PM
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Important to note here:

The story concerns the Farmer's Almanac, not The Old Farmer's Almanac, which - true to its name - is 26 years older and was once also simply called The Farmer's Almanac. I'm afraid the two similar publications are forever entangled in the collective consciousness of the U.S.
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