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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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Old 24 April 2018, 06:14 PM
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Hmm. It was probably the Old Farmers' Almanac which I checked. But I suspect the accuracy results would be similar between the two of them.

It occurs to me to wonder how similar their forecasts are.
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Old 24 April 2018, 06:55 PM
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Re the modeling UEL speaks about, what's interesting to me is when different models give different predictions and (most importantly), the weather guy talks about it.

What gets me is when the chance of rain is predicted to be 10%, and it rains, and someone gripes about it raining. Apparently these people think that a 10% chance of rain also means that if it does rain, it will be at 10% of the usual rate, and last for 10% of the usual time.

Seaboe
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  #9  
Old 24 April 2018, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Apparently these people think that a 10% chance of rain also means that if it does rain, it will be at 10% of the usual rate, and last for 10% of the usual time.
I do still remember people complaining that the forecast for the Naples NY area for what turned out to be the Flood of 72 was 20% chance of rain.

I just tried to confirm that online, however, and was unable to. Maybe it was a grumble made up after the fact; I don't remember having myself heard a weather forecast at all beforehand, I was living at a place with next to no communications and we didn't even have a working radio that week. If true, however, I think it would have been reasonable to complain about -- it's true that a 20% chance of rain forecast may in practice be rain on and off all day, but one doesn't expect a major flood to show up.

Forecasting in 1972 was of course nowhere near up to its current abilities.
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  #10  
Old 25 April 2018, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Re the modeling UEL speaks about, what's interesting to me is when different models give different predictions and (most importantly), the weather guy talks about it.
I have a friend I've known since I was a kid who is a retired meteorologist. He puts out unofficial forecasts on Facebook for those of us in the Atlantic provinces.

His issue with the models (his education predated the regular use of these models) is that it is still up to the individual meteorologist to decipher the model. So, it is still possible to have 2 meteorologists read the same model differently.

When I get home, I'll put up a Youtube of our most famous Atlantic amateur meteorologist. He's great and rarely wrong. I have no Youtube access at work.
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Old 25 April 2018, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
When I get home, I'll put up a Youtube of our most famous Atlantic amateur meteorologist. He's great and rarely wrong. I have no Youtube access at work.
Not Frankie MacDonald I hope!

OY
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Old 25 April 2018, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Not Frankie MacDonald I hope!

OY
He's a good Caper. You can read my mind.

I've got family in his town and they all love him. I do too!
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Old 25 April 2018, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
He's a good Caper. You can read my mind.

I've got family in his town and they all love him. I do too!
He's a bit of a, whatchacall, a loud talker?

OY
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  #14  
Old 28 June 2018, 03:36 PM
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Well lookie here! Some Farmer's Almanac has been right (about the rain) so far! It's been keeping my mower man busy!
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