Old Farmer's Almanac vs. Ryan Vaughan

Updated: Nov. 3, 2016 at 3:52 PM CDT
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The Old Farmer's Almanac has been around since 1792.

The secret formula used to derive their winter forecast comes from the founder, Robert B. Thomas. He believed the weather was influenced by magnetic storms on the surface of the sun.

Over the years, the Old Farmer's Almanac has enhanced its formula with new technology and calculations, but the methodology is still a secret. They claim to have an 80% overall accuracy rating. Last year was an "off year" in their forecast, which was only 56% accurate, according to this year's almanac.

Two years ago, the Old Farmer's Almanac and I agreed on the winter forecast, and it was pretty accurate. Last year, the almanac called for a harsh winter, while I said it would not be too bad. I was right last year, and we had below average wintry weather and temperatures were warmer than average.

This year, the Old Farmer's Almanac and I disagree again.

The almanac is calling for temperatures to be above average and precipitation to be below average. I think the first half of winter may be very cold, but an early start to spring in February is possible with highs in the 60s on some days. I also believe that there will be more winter storms than last year. I think the current pattern is similar to the pattern seen prior to the 1983-1984 winter, so I'm looking for a similar outcome. Here's a breakdown of the forecasts from the Old Farmer's Almanac and me:

Old Farmer's Almanac Prediction:

  • “Mild and Dry”
  • December 8 degrees above average and average precipitation
  • January 5 degrees above average and 1” below average precipitation
  • February 2 degrees above average and 1” below average precipitation

My Prediction:

  • "Cold and Active"
  • December will get cold with single digit lows possible, wintry weather possible in the second half.
  • January temperatures will be below average. 1-2 Winter Storms possible.
  • February will be milder with above average temperatures, but still can’t rule out some wintry weather.

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