Farmers’ Almanac calls for cold & snowy winter 2013-2014

Snowfall: Scenic Drive

Snowfall: Scenic Drive, photo by marylea

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.

Check Marylea’s photo out bigger and see more in her Winter 2011-2012 slideshow.

More weather on Michigan in Pictures.

4 thoughts on “Farmers’ Almanac calls for cold & snowy winter 2013-2014

  1. Global warming causes bitterly cold temperatures too?

    Snowiest on record… Let me ask you a sim0le question: did the world begin when Detroit started keepibg records of snowfall? Also, after asking that question, don’t you feel kind of narrow sighted?

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  2. No I don’t. I feel like I’m tired of suffering fools on this issue though. Australia is FRYING right now and people like you will be clinging to your voodoo science as you watch coastal cities vanish because climate change doesn’t give a damn what you think, all it cares about is what is real.

    Read this from US News & World Report.

    Climate change is a painstakingly well-documented long-term global trend, in which each recent decade has been warmer than the decade before. This is generally true for most parts of the globe, but more importantly is true when one considers the Earth as a whole.

    As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described in its Fifth Assessment Report released last September, “Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850,” and “In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years.”

    Despite the overwhelming evidence that our planet is warming, there are two points of perpetual confusion that combine with our psychology to make winter weather a seasonal boon for climate skepticism. For one, a cold snap where we live should not be confused for a global event.

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  3. Ever think that the “old man winter” comment was just a figure of speech? When did we lose our sense of wit in this county? Wasting time and money on an article to try and blow up the farmers almanac over their lack of adherence to scientific method seems rather silly.

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