Friday, August 14, 2020
Aug. 14, 2020

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Weather Eye: ‘Old Farmer’s Almanac’ correctly predicted this harsh winter


I have had many, many emails commenting on the cold winter across much of the nation this winter. People have noted that the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” nailed the winter’s weather this year.

In the autumn months of 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center predicted above-normal temperatures from November through January across much of the United States. In contrast, “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” predicted a bitterly cold and snowy winter.

As most of us know the almanac boasts an 80 percent accuracy rate when in reality it is about 25 percent correct, sometimes less. However, this year not so. The winter continues to remain cold and snowy thanks to the overused term “polar vortex.”

So how did the almanac get it right? With its secret way of doing things? Sunspots, lunar cycles, planetary positions maybe? Who really knows?

We do know that the CPC’s supercomputers didn’t foresee this, not even close. The acting director of the CPC, Mike Halpert, said, “Sometimes trying to figure out why something happened is as hard as making the forecast of what will happen.”

At one time in January there was snow on the ground in every state but Florida, including Hawaii. Yeah, it has been a wild ride. And it is not over yet. More bitter cold will be sweeping down and across the nation this week.

Rumors of cold and snow this weekend? Maybe I should consult the almanac.

Chat with you on a hopefully dry day Thursday!

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at