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Summer Weather: How Are We Doing?

People who follow the Farmers’ Almanac’s famous long-range weather forecast have estimated that our predictions are about 85% accurate. Not bad for a publication that makes its predictions almost two years in advance! As with anything, sometimes we do better than others. After all, even the best major league hitters don’t bat 1.000. So how are we doing so far this summer? Pretty darn good, thank you for asking.

In the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac, published last September, we predicted this summer would be a scorcher, with hotter than normal temperatures across most areas of the U.S. and Canada through July and August. Only the Pacific Northwest was forecast to have near-normal temperatures. And, so far, that’s exactly how this summer has been panning out, with the mercury creeping up near, or even beyond, 100° F in areas that rarely, if ever, experience such extreme temperatures.

Similar conditions are also being reported throughout the Northern Hemisphere, with sizzling heat gripping even the coolest regions of Europe and Asia. We can’t take credit for that, though. Our predictions only cover North America.

So, why has this year been so hot? This summer, we have been dealing with an unusually strong ridge of high pressure over the plains states, which has been preventing surges of cool/dry Canadian air from penetrating as far south as it might otherwise do in summers without such a strong ridge. As a result, temperatures have been well above normal across much of the central and eastern U.S. It might also be an artifact of El Nino fading out. Last summer, El Nino was intensifying and unseasonably cool air predominated across the northern and central states. Without any more influence from El Nino, this summer has been a much different story.

Whether you’re enjoying the hot weather — especially after last year’s cool, soggy summer in many regions — or praying for fall, expect the heat wave to continue cresting through at least mid-August, when the traditional “dog days of summer” come to an end. After that, the start of autumn should bring more seasonable temperatures and heavy precipitation, cooling things off.

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  • Lloyd says:

    If you predicted HOT for the southeast you got it exactly right! Here in the Augusta, GA area 2nd hottest summer on record since 1900

  • Pam says:

    @catsdabest – In my area of south-central Kentucky, just a few miles north of the Tennessee border, we have not had rain like you mentioned. It’s very, very dry – crispy lawns, hard gardens, etc. It has been ultra-hot.

  • Rene says:

    You have been right on for the state of Texas. I love the alamanac all of it.
    From the planting to the receipes. Great Job!

  • catsdabest says:

    I love the farmers almanac it got the predictions right for Kentucky. It seems like it has never stopped raining this summer and we have had several heat advisories out.

  • Kristin M. says:

    So far, it’s been WRONG for the northeast. We’re sweltering up here. It’s been about 5 degrees above average EVERY DAY ever since summer started. We’ve had more 90 degree days than we’re supposed to, with NO RAIN. So far, for the first time, the farmers almanac is wrong. But, we still have all of summer, but NOAA predicts above average temps through fall. I can’t wait until they predict winter. I hope we have an extremely cold one with lots of snow. I can’t stand the humitdy and heat, I need polar bear conditions!

    • Jaime McLeod says:

      Hey there, Kristin M.,
      We feel your pain – most of the Farmers’ Almanac staff also lives in the Northeast (Maine and New Jersey), and we’re right there sweating it out with you … Just wondering, though, whether you might be looking at the wrong almanac. There are dozens of annual publications out there with some version of the title “Farmers’ Almanac,” including our major competitor, based in New Hampshire. We don’t just do this to confuse you. Back in 1818, when our Farmers’ Almanac (or, as we like to think of it, the real one) was founded, there were literally hundreds of little regional almanacs around the country, most of them called “The Farmers’ Almanac.” Over the years, the number has dwindled. Ours has stood the test of time for nearly 200 years precisely because our forecasts are so accurate (readers estimate about an 85% accuracy rate). We do occasionally get it wrong, especially during unusual occurrences, such as this year’s El Nino, but if you look at our forecast for this summer, you’ll see that we did, indeed, warn northeasterners that this summer would be HOT, HOT, HOT!

      The good news is, fall is around the corner. Things should start to cool down by mid-August, and autumn will bring more seasonable temperatures and precipitation. As for winter, be sure to check the 2011 Farmers’ Almanac, which will hit stores in late August (ours is the one with the orange and green cover).

  • mike bailey says:

    i really use the fishing calendar on this website it does work please don’t ever remove ; i fish 2 or 3 days a week and the chart helps and shows me when to go or stay at my job . thank you mike bailey valdosta georgia

  • chris says:

    I would like to see the areas broken up into smaller prediction areas. The northern plains covers alot of area and when we are in Iowa sometimes it is hard to figure out if we are in the plains or not.

  • Charlotte says:

    Our summer weather has been the lowest temperatures ever recorded – historically
    in our area! I am in Northern California, I just heard the tail end of that news on my way home from work today. My summer garden has suffered!
    I love the Farmers Almanac – All of it, from weather to recipes – Always have!

  • Marie Harding says:

    I find Farmer’s Almanac to be uncannily correct, but think that New Mexico is not very well predicted. It’s kind of off to the west of the South Central, I’d always thought it was “Southwest”. Perhaps the state should be split in half (north/south), and it would be more correct, putting the west half in with Arizona.

  • Joseph Le Brun says:

    Took Michigan vacation based upon Best Fishing Days predictions; June 27th through July 5th. Excessive winds kept us off from Lake Michigan, and even inland fishing was bad. We’ve lived in Az. over 20 yrs. and expect fishing to be terrible. Worst day fishin better than best day workin, ha

  • PatFay says:

    We’ve been scorched here in New Jersey. 90-95-97 day after day. Looking forward to autumn, though trees are losing their leaves from the heat.

  • Sharron says:

    The only thing I could add is “wind” to go along with hot and dry for Salt Lake City area. I think we have had maybe two days all summer without wind.

  • Pat Martin says:

    Yes, you’ve been right on as usual. You said our summer in the midwest would be hot and rainy, and that’s exactly what we’ve had!

  • kevin struckhoff says:

    sorry, your prediction for the southwest hasn’t held up for the so cal coast. I live about 45 miles north of LA in ventura county and it has been very mild and damp so far. we had a few hot days last week but the june gloom is back again.

  • bob reddersen says:

    I bought a 3 year subscription for my 92 year old mother because she loves to read it. I enjoy having it so I can occassionally look up facts. Anyway, I asked her this question and she says you have been “right on”. HOT HOT HOT!

  • billy patscher jr . says:

    i love the farmers almanac especially the weather predictions. also about the recipes & gardening tips .thanks billy

  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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