NBC Chicago has a story up about the Old Farmer’s Almanac and its prediction for a terrible winter in the region this year.
The story then goes on to list the reasons that running these same articles year after year about the Almanac is a stupid waste of time and bandwidth:
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been predicting the weather for centuries, and we’re learning more about what the publication believes is in store for the Chicago area this winter.
According to this year’s forecast, which will be released later this month, parts of the upper Midwest, including the Chicago area and northwest Indiana, will potentially see “unreasonably cold and snowy” conditions this winter.
Parts of western Illinois are grouped in with the Great Plains states, with the publication calling for a “hibernation” winter that will be full of cold temperatures and plenty of snow.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that it uses long-term temperature patterns to predict the severity of the upcoming season, as well as the track record of precipitation and snowfall in the impacted areas over the course of the last 30 years.
Many meteorologists dispute the accuracy and the methodology employed by the publication. The publication claims that it is “about 80% correct,” but many media studies have contested that figure. One such study, conducted by the University of Illinois and cited by Popular Mechanics, holds that the Old Farmer’s Almanac is only correct 52% of the time, which essentially represents the odds of a coin flip landing on either heads or tails.
Yet I still see this moronic publication offered at (or near) almost every supermarket checkout I go to. Same goes for Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.
I should start my own almanac since it seems so easy to get people to buy into this nonsense.
You can read the rest of the article here.