Tonight we're checking the accuracy of the temperature forecasts from the Farmer's Almanac for a few months this past winter. We'll start with December. The larger map on top shows what actually happened, the smaller map is the Almanac's forecast. Yellows, oranges, and reds indicate warmer than average, blues colder. In a perfect forecast, the maps would be identical. As long-range forecasts go, this is very good. In general, the colors match up well.

Here's January. Again, the reds and oranges indicates warmer than average, the blues colder. Whereas most of the country was relatively mild, the Almanac's forecast was for cold in most places. This forecast was way out of whack.

Now you can't judge the Almanac based on just these two months. But they are typical. Some months the forecasts are OK, some months they're not, and the accuracy varies with location. Any claims of accuracy beyond that should be treated with great skepticism.

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