The Farmer's Almanac's weather predictions are 80 percent accurate, on average 

By Hannah Chubb
August 21, 2020 07:15 PM
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Every year towards the end of summer, the Old Farmer’s Almanac releases its winter weather forecast, predicting what the season will look and feel like across the U.S.

On August 18, they released the outlook for winter 2020-21, and they had good news for those who hate the cold and snow.

According to the trusted publication, “recent warming trends will dominate in the eastern and northern parts of the United States" with “warmer-than-normal temperatures in the forecast for a large part of the country.”

Yes, you heard that right, a light winter is to be expected, and “average to below-average snowfall” should be recorded.

Of course, there are a  few exceptions to this rule. According to the Almanac, western states and northeastern New England can expect chillier-than-normal temperatures. And in the Northeast, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, the High Plains and northern Alaska above-average snowfall is to be expected.

The Almanac employs solar science, climatology and meteorology to make their long-range weather predictions, “comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity.” It's been releasing forecasts since its founding in 1792. 

Traditionally, the Almanac's weather predictions have a total accuracy of approximately 80 percent. Last year, their winter weather prediction was found to be 80.5 percent accurate. 

A less-frosty winter may be a bright spot in 2020, but medical experts are warning Americans that they should brace for what will likely be a "difficult" fall and winter season when it comes to public health.

Last month, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spoke at a webinar for Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, and warned, "I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times we've experienced in American public health because of ... the co-occurrence of COVID and influenza.” 

“Keeping the health care system from being overstretched, I think, is really going to be important," he added. "And the degree that we're able to do that, I think, will define how well we get through the fall and winter."

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While Americans may not need to bundle up as much in the coming months, Redfield does suggest one accessory be worn in public: face masks. He stated that face coverings are the best tactic to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its public health severity.

“We are not defenseless against this virus. We actually have one of the most powerful weapons you could ask for — the most powerful weapon we have that I know of is wearing face coverings,” he said at a press conference. “The most important thing that I could ask the American public to do is to fully embrace face coverings, to fully embrace careful hand hygiene, and to fully embrace social distancing.”