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Dueling Almanacs

I think they're both underestimating the severity

of the coming winter


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10 Sep 10 - The New Hampshire-based Old Farmers' Almanac says "global cooling to continue," while the competing Maine-based Farmer's Almanac predicts a "kinder, gentler winter."

From the headlines, you'd think that the two books are at total odds with each other, but when you read further, you see that they're in general agreement.

Both forecasts are at odds with the National Weather Service's long-range outlook.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center anticipates a warmer-than-normal winter for the mid-Atlantic and Southeast and colder-than-normal weather in the Northwest.

Ed O'Lenic from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said the scientific community doesn't accept tides, planetary alignment and sunspots as effective predictors of temperature or precipitation, but he stopped short of being critical of the almanac's meteorological methods.

In my opinion, NOAA and the almanacs are all underestimating the severity of the coming winter.

I think the building La Nia - not to be confused with El Nio - is going to bring us "a polar bear" of a winter (as meteorologist Joe Bastardi puts it).

Here are portions of the two almanac's forecasts:

Old Farmer's Almanac:
Global cooling to continue

9 Sep 10 – Most of the country will see a colder-than-usual winter while summer and spring will be relatively cool and dry, says the Old Farmer's Almanac.

In the coming months, the Earth will continue to see a "gradual cooling of the atmosphere ... offset by any warming caused by increased greenhouse gases."

The Old Farmer's Almanac is also forecasting a weak La Nina — an unusual cooling of the sea surface in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Much of the eastern half of the United States will experience lower-than-normal temperatures with less snow while Mid-Atlantic states will see more snowfall than usual, said editor Janice Stillman. The West will see a mild winter with average precipitation, she said.

Meanwhile, the South will experience a cold and wet summer and the Rockies should see a mild and dry winter.

"It'll be cold. There will be no mistaking winter," Stillman said. "But it may be a little shorter or we may see some small warm spells in places like the East Coast."

See story about Old Farmers' Almanac
Thanks to Steve Foster and Marc Morano for this link

Farmers' Almanac:
Kinder, gentler winter on tap

29 Aug 10 - After record snowfall in the mid-Atlantic and unusually cold weather down South, the Farmers' Almanac predicts that it'll be cold but nothing like last winter, when 49 states saw snow and it got so cold in Florida that iguanas fell out of trees.

"Overall, it looks like it's going to be a kinder and gentler winter, especially in the areas that had a rough winter last year," said managing editor Sandi Duncan.

It'll still be colder than normal for much of the country, the almanac says, and New England will get a "cold slap in the face" after missing last winter's misery. Finally, residents of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes are expected to get the piles of snow that'll be lacking elsewhere.

See story about Farmers' Almanac

Both almanacs issue annual forecasts. Both have circulations of around 3.2 million and both feature a mix of helpful hints, recipes, gardening tips, jokes and inspirational messages. Their websites are full of videos, blogs, podcasts, Twitter accounts and Facebook fan pages.


Reader Comments

I would agree that they don't understand the severity of the coming winter. Although often when we move into a strong La-Nina, as in the past, there is a tendency for the coldest weather to be more focused further west, like in the Rockies, Pacific Northwest and the Plain states, with more snows in those areas (such as 08/09. 

Without an El-Nino induced jet, (southern stream energy) merging with a polar jet from Canada, snowfall this particular winter should actually be less than last winter as a whole in the East.  Nevertheless many areas across North America will likely experience record cold and snowfall. 

But I disagree strongly with a sentence they put down. What they should have said is this: 

In the coming months, the Earth will continue to see a "significant cooling of the atmosphere ..."   ( the rest of that sentence is total BS of course !!!)   This is also what JB explained in his blog that the cooling will be drastic.

I don't know why the Old Farmers' Almanac finds it necessary to buy into "politically correctness" 

This November the "politically correct" will see the results of just that!!"                                                       - Kenneth Lund







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