Since 1792, The Old Farmer's Almanac has been an integral part of many people’s lives. It has been commonly known for predicting the weather, but did you know it has also provided valuable information to other walks of life as well? Predicting tide tables for beach lovers; sunrise and planting charts for those who live on the farm or love to garden; and publishing recipes for all the cooks out there. Of course the Farmer's Almanac predicts the weather for the summer of 2014.
North America's oldest continuously published periodical, now known simply as the Almanac, comes out every year in September, and the words of the Almanac's founder, Robert B. Thomas, still remain the guiding principle: "Our main endeavor is to be useful, but with a pleasant degree of humor."
So what is the Almanac’s 2014 summer prediction for our grand state of Minnesota? It doesn’t matter if you’re way up north near the Boundary Waters, or live on farmland near the Iowa border, the predictions are the same:
April and May = warmer than normal temperatures with near normal levels of precipitation.
June = cooler temps and dryer than normal.
July and August = hotter temps and drier than normal precipitation with drought conditions possible. The hottest stretch for summer will be early July; then early to mid-August.
How are the predictions made? Based on Thomas’ observations, he used a complex series of natural cycles to devise a secret weather forecasting formula, which brought remarkably accurate results, traditionally said to be about 80 percent accurate. Even today, his formula is kept safely tucked away in a black tin box at the Almanac offices in Dublin, New Hampshire.
In comparison, today’s meteorologists range in the low 80-percent range for accuracy as well, but they rely on satellite imagery, radar and computer models, along with complex formulas that incorporate humidity levels, air speed and pressure, and temperatures to get their forecasts. The two prediction methods, one based on formulas and observations from over 200 years ago, and the other with the latest technology, appear to be relatively the same in terms of accuracy. Remarkable.
The Almanac’s summer prediction doesn’t sound too bad, especially after our long, frigid, snowy winter. And although we’re always in for some weather surprises (let’s face it, we’re dealing with Mother Nature) let’s hope this season’s 2014 predictions aren’t too far off…and please, no complaining that it’s TOO hot!
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