How Accurate is the Farmer's Almanac?


RENO, Nev. -- Nevada weather means extreme changes in a very short period of time, which makes forecasting difficult, even for experts. One tired and true reference guide, for those who keep track of the weather, can be surprisingly accurate. Here's a closer look at the Farmer's Almanac.

Many people rely on the weather station, while others trust the historic Farmer's Almanac. It's been predicting weather since 1818 and their secret formula lies in the stars and planet.s

"To me, the farmer's almanac is like the Ouija board of weather," KOLO 8 News Now's Chief Meteorologist, Chris Larson said. "They gave people a general idea of the season and the planting seasons, but in terms of today, it's pretty ridiculous to look at the farmer's almanac for any sort of accurate or short term or mid-term forecast."

Meteorologists use science and a number of different satellites and tools to compare multiple models, evaluate patterns and predict the weather.

"It's pretty impressive that you can give people a heads up for 5,6,7 days for a tropical system and maybe a few hours for severe weather coming your way with a thunderstorm, and I'm sorry, but the farmer's almanac won't do that," Larson said.

So who has been more accurate in the past?

The Almanac accurately predicted a cold and snowy winter in the Northeast this winter, but completely missed the wet winter in the Pacific Northwest.

"What we like to do is look at what's happening on a large scale and then work our way down into the details. So we're mainly focusing on the next 7 days in the forecast," Nation Weather Service Meteorologist, Dawn Fishler said.

In the end, some people don't pay attention to history or science; they just rely on their own senses.

"I usually go outside," said one local man.

According to the National Weather Service, this past winter was the driest we've seen since 1966, but the weather has turned wetter in recent weeks. The Farmers Almanac predicted we would have a wet spring here in Northern Nevada.


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