For over 200 years, the editors of Farmers’ Almanac published annual long-range weather forecasts based on a formula comparing data found in solar regimes and historical weather conditions with current solar activity. But how accurate are their forecasts so far this winter?
Released last August, the annual issue winter weather outlook for the 2023-24 season called for a frigid winter with cold temperatures and snowy weather, declaring that “BRRR is back.” Now, a week into February, temperatures are expected to top 50 degrees in Rochester on Friday before returning to more seasonal temperatures with highs in the mid-30s next week.
The Farmers’ Almanac forecast called for blizzards – with snow, cold rain and freezing temperatures – across the Northeast and New England in mid-February. According to the Almanac, a major storm to the East Coast is expected to bring “winter mayhem” in early March. There is also a risk of late season snowfall over high terrain in New England in mid-April.
Last winter was mild, with little snow in the Rochester area.
Already this season, more snow has fallen in Rochester on Feb. 6 than in the entire 2022-23 winter season, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Seasonal snowfall currently stands at 34.4 inches, measured in Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airportwhich is more than five inches higher than last season’s total of 29.2 inches.
While we wait for more snow to arrive in February and March, it appears, for the most part, that the winter forecasts in the almanac published six months ago have proven to be more or less accurate. January brought most of the snow and several days in the single digits.
Weather forecasts are drawn from three scientific disciplines, with forecasts emphasizing deviations from averages in temperature and precipitation, and based on 30-year statistical averages prepared by government weather agencies.