In Farmers’ Almanac prediction: valid winter forecast or ‘darts at a dartboard’?, the Great Lakes Echo explores the accuracy of the venerable Farmers’ Almanac, writing:
…this year, like many before, bloggers, newspapers and local TV stations alike are abuzz with the Almanac’s prediction for winter 2014 – particularly a notably bitter, cold, precipitous winter for the Midwest and most of the Great Lakes region.
“This winter is shaping up to be a rough one,” the almanac reports.
So how much weight does this prediction hold?
“The value of the Farmers’ Almanac in terms of weather forecasting is no better than a comic book,” says Detroit-based meteorologist Paul Gross. “If we knew the forecast a year in advance, we’d be utilizing that knowledge by now.”
The Almanac, which famously keeps its weather predicting methods rather hush-hush, claims to be 80 percent accurate – although the lack of concrete evidence proving that claim draws some skepticism.
The Almanac also makes a questionable remark about the relationship between global warming and a winter with heavy snow.
“Brrrrr!” says the excerpt. “It looks like global warming will soon be taking a vacation to make room for Old Man Winter.”
Heavy snow in winter means quite the opposite in regards to global warming, says Gross. “What people don’t understand is that global warming means that more ocean water is evaporated into the atmosphere,” he said. “And that water vapor in the atmosphere is what becomes available to storms to create precipitation.”
Global warming isn’t “taking a vacation” to make way for the heavy precipitation, Gross said. Rather, a warming climate cause increased precipitation. “It’s shocking, but four of Detroit’s top 10 snowiest winters in history have occurred since 2002,” he said.
They add that the Almanac’s prediction does appear to be somewhat in line with predictions like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s. Read on for more at the Echo.
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