Long-range forecasting is a trademark of the Old Farmer's Almanac. Each fall, the Almanac issues forecasts for every day of the coming year, as well as a general forecast of temperature and precipitation for each month. Almost all meteorologists, including this one, will tell you that forecasting specific daily weather conditions more than a few days in advance just isn't possible. The Almanac's daily forecasts are right from time to time, but no more so than forecasts made by you or me using a little common sense.

But the Almanac's predictions of monthly temperature and precipitation deserve a serious look - after all, government meteorologists routinely issue such forecasts, trying to pin down whether the coming months will be colder or warmer or wetter or drier than average.

So I thought we'd have some fun, and check how well the Old Farmer's Almanac did during a couple months this past winter. Tomorrow we'll look at temperature, Thursday we'll check on precipitation.

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