Thursday, February 20, 2014

Historical Weather – The Farmer’s Almanac versus – NOAA – National Weather Service – Who Do You Think Nailed the Winter 2014 forecast?





A typical New England Day 2014 - photo from Bangor Daily News

If one answered the National Weather Service versus the arcane Farmers Almanac one would be wrong - In an article fromBloomberg’s Business Week, the discussion of how the use of climate forecast models, did not apparently work out so well this year for the government’s weather division:

The cause of the tough winter, as is well known by now, is the polar vortex, a strong and persistent ridge of high pressure over the eastern Pacific and the west coast of the United States. First, it’s causing California’s drought. Second, polar winds are flowing northward around the high-pressure ridge and then plunging down along the ridge’s backside.

What the Climate Prediction Center hasn’t been able to figure out is why that ridge has maintained its position so persistently. “Sometimes trying to figure out why something happened is as hard as making the forecast of what will happen,” Halpert said in a Feb. 14 interview.
(Bloomberg)

The article from Bloomberg goes on to describe the difficulties of long-range forecasts, and the ways in which these climatologists are going to use this year’s data to help with next.

One might suggest they purchase a copy of the Farmer’s Alamance as soon as it’s released in August to give them a helping hand. The Farmer’s Almanac’s 2014Long range weather forecast here was, as one might say – spot on, predicating colder than usual temps, and a ton of snow across the nation. (Farmer’s Almanac).

They rely on, as far as one is able to tell – historical weather data – for kicks one might take a trip down memory lane or through history by date on their website at www..faramersalmanac.com/weatherhistory.com where there is the ability to choose an area by zip code and specific dates going back as far as 1945. Looking at February of 2014 and comparing to February 1955, in decade increments, one finds a pattern emerge – of cooling and warming and cooling over periods of years. Go figure.

One might agree or disagree with either model, but one model has been fairly consistent since it was first published, while the other...not so much.

The bonus, there are recipes and planting tips for those so inclined, and although no one, from those using science to those using other methods can accurately predict 100% of the time what is going to happen with the weather – one has to wonder why there is such a difference between the climatologist and the historical weather forecaster. Although, to be truthful, one might add another category to the mix – those who have lived through 4 or more decades will remember cooler winters, deeper snows, hotter summers, colder summers and so on. Again a pattern emerges. –go figure.

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