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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

On The Money – Farmers’ Almanac Accuracy

Major Weather Events Accurately Predicted by the Farmers’ Almanac

- The Farmers’ Almanac predicted a severe heat wave along the East Coast and Great Lakes during the summer of 2013, and those predictions came true in July, with extreme heat wilting much of that region.

- The Farmers’ Almanac predicted that the spring of 2013 would be unusually wet and cool across much of the U.S. and Canada. In the Northern and Central Plains and Western Great Lakes, April of that year was very cold, white, and wet that meteorologists don’t expect to see it happen again for another 50 or 100 years.

- For mid-February, 2013 the Farmers’ Almanac forecast a “major Northeast snowstorm” with accumulations exceeding one foot and accompanied by strong winds causing blowing snow. And indeed, a clipper system and coastal storm merged to create blizzard conditions in parts of the Northeast. The storm dumped record-setting snowfall from New York to Maine. The highest snowfall total of 40 inches was reported in Hamden, CT. Strong winds (a gust of 83 mph was reported in Falmouth, MA) brought whiteout conditions to much of New England and whipped up waves that carved a 1,600-foot-wide hole in the barrier beach near Chatham, MA. In New York, the storm left more than one hundred cars stranded along the Long Island Expressway while in Connecticut there were reports of over a dozen collapsed roofs due to the snow. The storm left some 650,000 customers without power and resulted in a dozen deaths.

- The Farmers’ Almanac predicted that the summer of 2012 would be exceptionally hot in many regions of the U.S., and July 2012 proved to be the hottest month ever recorded in U.S. history.

- The Farmers’ Almanac forewarned of a tropical disturbance for the Southeast during late June, 2012, and tropical storm Debby hit on June 24th.

- The Farmers’ Almanac accurately predicted a wet winter of 2011-12 for Texas. Heavy precipitation helped to alleviate their severe drought, shrinking the total area affected from 43.3% in early December to 14.8% by the end of February.

- The Farmers’ Almanac called for a balmy winter for the Southern and Eastern U.S. in 2011-12. For New England, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, the winter ranked as either the second or third warmest winter in 117 years of available records. Massachusetts tied for its warmest February. It was the second warmest winter on record for Boston and New York; the fourth warmest for Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

- The Farmers’ Almanac once again predicted a major snowstorm would hit the Rockies and Plains in the opening days of February 2012. February 2nd—4th saw a very heavy snowstorm that blanketed Colorado and Nebraska. Denver set a new snowstorm record for February of 15.9 inches.

- The Farmers’ Almanac accurately predicted the major winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to parts of the Southern Rockies and Central Plains on December 19th and 20th, 2011.

- The Farmers’ Almanac predicted a major storm for the East Coast between October 28th and 31st, 2011. On October 29th, a deepening storm system moved up the Eastern seaboard, interacted with an unusually chilly airmass, and snowflakes began to fall. It was a stormy period for the Northeast U.S., with copious rain and even snow over higher elevations and northern New England.

- The 2011 Farmers’ Almanac also forecast a hurricane threat for the Southeastern U.S. at the end of August, which came true in the form of Hurricane Irene.

- The Farmers’ Almanac predicted that the spring of 2011 would be exceptionally wet, and that parts of the U.S. would see a very active tornado season. This proved to be true when flooding overwhelmed the Mississippi River Valley through several states, and killer tornadoes battered the Southeast and Midwest.

- The Farmers’ Almanac accurately predicted a major snowstorm for the Northeastern and Great Lakes states for early February 2011. At that time, heavy snow did pound the Northeastern U.S., while a blizzard shut down Chicago.

- We predicted the summer of 2010 would be a scorcher, with hotter than normal temperatures across most areas of the U.S. and Canada through July and August. Only the Pacific Northwest was forecast to have near-normal temperatures. And that’s exactly how the summer panned out, with the mercury creeping up near, or even beyond, 100° F in areas that rarely, if ever, experience such extreme temperatures.

- It’s not often that the Farmers’ Almanac long range forecast calls for extreme events such as blizzards with two or more feet of accumulation, but that’s exactly what weather prognosticator Caleb Weatherbee saw when he consulted his data for the second week of February 2010. He was so confident, in fact, that he insisted we highlight it both in our general weather outlook and in the detailed forecast for February. As it happened, a major storm system, which has since come to be known as “Snaowmageddon,” slammed Mid-Atlantic states during not one, but two blizzards over the course of a single week. The snow was so deep, it crippled whole cities, shutting down the federal government as well as cities, both large and small, in much of the Eastern half of the country. February 11-12 saw a remarkable southern snowstorm that buried cities in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Dallas-Fort Worth recorded 12.5-inches of snow, making it their greatest 24-hour snowfall on record. Though Weatherbee’s prediction was a couple of days off, thanks to a strong El Niño system, his certainty that a major blizzard would hit in early February was right on!

- In 2009, the Farmers’ Almanac predicted an exceptionally cold winter and a cool, wet spring and summer for most regions. As promised, bitter cold and heavy snow punished much of the nation, coming on early in the season and lingering through the start of spring. When spring finally did arrive, it came bearing heavy rains, with twice the annual average falling in many northern states.

- During the summer of 2008, the Farmers’ Almanac predicted hurricane threats along the Gulf Coast, calling for one in mid-July and one in mid-August. In mid-July, Hurricane Dolly touched down on the Eastern Coast of Texas, damaging more property in the area than any storm since Hurricane Rita, three years earlier. The mid-August threat materialized into Tropical Storm Fay, which flooded portions of Southern Florida.

- The Farmers’ Almanac also warned of an exceptionally active tornado season in the Midwest during the spring of 2008. Just as predicted, a record-breaking number of deadly twisters — more than 700 in all — descended on the region between February and early May.

- “Trusted because it’s so darn accurate” was how one State of Maine web site described the Farmers’ Almanac 2008 winter predictions. On this site, http://www.maine.gov/rfac/rfac_snow.shtml the author compared our predictions with actual storms, and the Farmers’ Almanac predictions were right on the money!

-In its 2008 edition, the Farmers’ Almanac forecasted an extra chilly winter for the eastern half of the country, but somewhat mild west of the Mississippi River. The accuracy of that prediction was borne out by the heavier-than-normal snow that pounded most of New England and the Great Lakes region.

- In 2007, the Farmers’ Almanac contradicted the Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast for an early spring, accurately calling for six more weeks of winter. Less than two weeks later, blizzards slammed the Northeast, with accumulations measured in feet, not inches. Before it was over, more than seven feet had piled up in Oswego County, N.Y. In New England, snow continued through early April.

- In 2006, the Almanac accurately predicted the series of major snowstorms that hit Denver during Christmas Week, stranding travelers all over the country.

- In 2006, Almanac predictions advised Californians to get out their umbrellas for the Tournament of the Roses Parade, and rain did, in fact, batter the parade for the first time in many years.

Satellite Image of Hurricane Katrina, Courtesy of NOAA

Satellite Image of Hurricane Katrina, Courtesy of NOAA

- In 2005, Farmers’ Almanac weather outlook warned that two major hurricanes would hit the same area of the Gulf Coast. Katrina and Rita devastated area at the end of that summer. Though we missed the actual dates by a few days, we were on target with our call for two hurricane strikes to the same region.

- In 2004, Farmers’ Almanac predictions were proven to be as good as our word when it called for an exceptionally snowy winter almost everywhere. The storms raged through late January and all of February, pounding even usually warm southern states. Temperatures in Florida ruined citrus crops.

- During the President’s Day Storm of 2003, Mid Atlantic states were clobbered with more than 3 feet of the white stuff. The storm caught many people off guard, but not our readers.

- Farmers’ Almanac called for a nasty storm over the 1997 Christmas holidays. Snow and ice conditions that week paralyzed travelers from Texas to Washington D.C.

- Farmers’ Almanac predicted the Blizzard of 1996; a storm paralyzed much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on January 7 and 8 of that year. Between 1 and 2 feet of snow accumulated throughout the region, leaving 100 people dead. CBS News contacted us that week for our “secret formula,” which remains a secret even today.

- Farmers’ Almanac called for an exceptionally warm couple of weeks during mid-to-late January in 1995, dubbing the month “Juneuary” in the pages of that year’s Farmers’ Almanac. New York City topped 70 degrees that month. Regis and Kathy Lee found our prediction notable enough to mention on air.

- Farmers’ Almanac accurately predicted heavy rainfall in the Midwest throughout the summer of 1993. Copious amounts of rain that summer led to the Great Flood, which left the Mississippi River region devastated.

- Farmers’ Almanac predicted Hurricane Andrew in 1992, as noted by then Florida Governor Lawton Chiles, Jr., on Larry King Live.

- Though Farmers’ Almanac called for a mild winter in 1987-88, Farmers’ Almanac assured the media and the International Olympic Committee that Calgary, Canada, would be snowy and cold for the 1988 Winter Olympics. Though there had been no accumulation in the mountains as of that December, Chinook winds hit the area just in time for the festivities in February. We were right on, to the day.

Hurricane Carol, Photo courtesy of NOAA

Hurricane Carol, Photo courtesy of NOAA

- In 1954, Farmers’ Almanac warned readers of a rare major hurricane in the Northeast. That storm turned out to be Hurricane Carol, one of the worst tropical cyclones ever to touch down in New England.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.