James, We do understand your disappointment. The Old Farmer's Almanac is a reference guide; the editors do not make up the frost dates, though we aim to make the information available and more accessible to our readers. As stated in the Almanac, the frost data is sourced from the National Climatic Data Center. There are about 9,800 weather stations monitored by the NOAA weather service. Further, we state that the dates given are normal "averages." I believe the government uses three decade averages for a solid sense of what is typical; the latest data set is 1981 to 2010. The data gets updated very ten years so it reflects our environment as it changes.
Though this reference source is the best data available, we also state on the frost chart page that "local weather and topography may also cause considerable variations." Every year does not conform to the "average," so you should use your own judgment about advancing or delaying the time for each job, depending on weather conditions. This is the same advice given by reputable gardening sources, including partners at cooperative extension services.
We hope that this explanation is helpful to you. We strive to make our 238th edition useful. If you ever have questions about local frost dates, we would also direct you to your local cooperative extension for on-the-ground knowledge and detail.
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