What a summer! From a very cool and wet season in the East, to a hot season in the Southwest, this has been a summer weather of extremes.
As the season begins to wind down, many readers and Web visitors are asking the same question: “How accurate were the Farmers’ Almanac’s weather predictions?”
“Weather is one of those things that keeps everyone on their toes,” states Caleb Weatherbee, Farmers Almanac forecaster, adding “the Farmers’ Almanac forecasts were made nearly two years ago. With that in mind, I’d have to say that our outlook for this summer season was pretty darn accurate.”
The 2009 Farmers’ Almanac Summer Overview was for wet, soggy summer in many areas with pockets of temperature extremes. Here’s how they panned out:
In the western states (Zones 6 & 7), our predictions verified. The hot and dry forecast for the west coast came true, especially in areas like Seattle, which saw a high of 103 degrees on July 30.
The southern states (Zone 5), the Farmers’ Almanac outlook called for nice temperatures and average rainfall. Rainfall has been close to normal in much of that region, as predicted. The only exception has been the southern half of Texas, where it has been extremely hot and dry. So dry, in fact, that a severe drought is now underway.
The southeast (Zone 3) has seen its share of rainy, wet conditions this summer, as predicted in the 2009 Farmers’ Almanac.
The Farmers’ Almanacs “wet” forecast for the Great Lakes and Northeast (Zones 1 & 2) was more than verified, as several weeks of rainfall doused the region through June and July. July 2009’s ranked monthly soil moisture is higher than 95% of the recorded values in the last 30 years for most of New England.
The soil in much of New England is wetter than average by at least 2 to 4 inches. The saturated soil has already shown tendencies for mudslides, phenomena more common along the Pacific Coast during the winter storm season. In the Northeast, rivers are already at higher water levels in comparison to this time last year.
And it looks like wetness will continue.
Our forecasts targeted the eastern US for possible hurricane activity in August and September.The first hurricane of the season, Bill, will likely take a track parallel to the East Coast, but just offshore. Such a track could spell an impact somewhere along the East Coast, however, if the track were displaced just a few hundred miles to the west. Even if that doesn’t happen, the heart of the hurricane season is still a few weeks away, so we still need to be leery.
For Canada, the Farmers’ Almanac did forecast a very wet summer in many areas especially Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, and Quebec. Unfortunately the cooler temperatures lasted a bit longer than we expected.
What’s in store for the fall and winter? Stay tuned for our 2010 forecast for both US and Canada!