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How Accurate is the Farmer's Almanac?

Updated: Monday, February 10 2014, 10:19 AM CST

Cooking tips, gardening and a year-long weather forecast. That's what you'll find in the popular Farmer's Almanac.

"It's something that many farmers throughout the United States, and throughout the world, follow what the weather's going to be because again, it impacts their production quite a bit," said Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Bradley Uken.

It's said to be about 80 percent accurate -- but even experts say that's a stretch.

"The sound barrier for individual daily forecast is about 14 days, anything beyond that and almost any forecast model starts to fall apart," said State Climatologist Jim Angel.

So far this month, the almanac's been fairly accurate -- but Angel reminds us it's February.

Instead of actual predictions, he says the almanac follows yearly trends -- and winter is easiest to determine.

"Summertime's much harder, and the spring and fall are hard too cause those are transition seasons, so one day it's winter, next day it's spring and then it flip flops back and forth for a while. So it's pretty tough to get a handle on that," Angel said.

Officials at the Farm Bureau agree.

"The weather is almost a flip of a coin sometimes, I suspect, and predicting it. My guess is it's very difficult to judge what the weather's going to be," Uken said.

"Not sure who actually uses it for planning purposes, I mean I just kind of use it for entertainment ... oh here's what they say," Angel added.

How Accurate is the Farmer's Almanac?


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