A Look At Last Summer's Forecast by The Old Farmer's Almanac

2018 Summer Forecast Summary

November 2, 2018
Summer Forecast 2018

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Average: 3.9 (23 votes)

In every annual Old Farmer’s Almanac edition, we show you how accurate our forecast was for the previous winter. However, because the publication cycle requires that we finalize the weather for the print edition in the spring, before summer weather occurs, we have not been able to include analyses of our summer season forecasts in the Almanac. So, how did we do?

For those interested, here is a summary of how accurate our 2017–2018 winter forecast was.

How Accurate Was Our 2018 Summer Forecast?

You may find it surprising that in the 22 years that I have been the lead meteorologist with final responsibility for these forecasts, our accuracy rate for the summer forecasts has been nearly the same as that for the winter forecasts (80%), even though our forecast year starts with winter and summer is half a year later.

Usually, the further in advance forecasts are made, the lower their accuracy rate. But the methodology that we follow, basing our forecasts on solar cycles, seems to enable us to forecast the summer weather with about the same level of accuracy as achieved by our shorter-term winter forecasts.

In The 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac, we noted that “Our overall accuracy rate in forecasting the direction of temperature change from normal in the 2017–18 winter … was 83%,” while our “forecast for the change in precipitation from last winter was correct in 72% of the regions.”

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When we look at how we did in the forecast for the 2018 summer season (June through August), we find that our accuracy rate was even higher.

In both our temperature and precipitation forecasts, we correctly forecast the correct direction of departure from normal for at least one of the cities in 16 of the 18 U.S. regions and in 6 of the 7 Canadian regions. This is an accuracy rate of 88.9% for the United States, 85.7% for Canada, and 88.0% overall.

We did miss in our temperature forecasts for U.S. regions 16 and 18 (Pacific Southwest and Hawaii) and Canadian region 5 (Southern British Columbia), and we were wrong in our precipitation forecasts for U.S. regions 15 and 18 (Pacific Northwest and Hawaii) and Canadian region 6 (Yukon). Everywhere else, we were correct in our forecasts. 

I apologize to our many, many friends in Hawaii, the only region where we were wrong in both our temperature and precipitation forecast departures from normal—we expect better results from our forecasts there for next summer!

The methodology that we use to make our forecasts is unique and has been developed over decades of use, adjustment, and refinement. While we will likely never be perfect in our forecasts, we do strive to learn from our mistakes and to always provide you, our readers, with the best forecasts possible as of the date that we make them.

To find out our long-range predictions for the coming year (November 2018 to October 2019), get your copy of The 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac—now available!

Reader Comments

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Great Forecast !!!

I have been a big Follower of yours for a long time,and my Grandads both spoke highly of you,so I am Third Generation Farmers Almanac reader & Fan!!Keep up the great work!! Larry Gene Pate

You Got It Right

SE PA broke records with the amount of rain we received monthly. I turned off the heat in May and turned on the AC the next day. The humidity was so thick a person couldn't breathe. Between the rain and the humidity everything was always wet or damp. Sadly, this is the new normal.

hot/dry and wet

It was hot and dry until mid-July in the eastern part of the desert southwest. Starting in late July thru October we received a little over 14 inches of rain. An incredible amount of rain for this area in that short of time.

Accuracy rate

Well,for our area in Western Colorado, you were @ 50%. The Dry Part was spot on,it was one of the driest summers on record, and in fact we have lakes and Res's, at below 40% level. On Temperature, however you were off, as not only Dry but HOT. I moved back to CO 40 years ago, and to the West Slope 15 years ago and Never remember it being this hot and dry as a kid or in the last 40 yrs.

NYS weather

You were right on for Central NY...I live in the little spot on your map that showed rain/wet hot weather for NYS.

Arkansas was wetter than

Arkansas was wetter than usual in summer,but hot?Its always hot in summer in Ar. Maybe a bit (a tiny bit) less sticky. Your winter forcasts routinly miss the mark for arkansas. Other parts of the redion get weather you predict but not here.

Error

You overall accuracy rate for Canada and the US in the 5th para above should be 87.3% not 88.0%

Accuracy

The author is accurate. If the US and Canada each had the same number of regions, so that you simply took the average of 88.9% and 85.7% ((88.9+85.7)/2=87.3 ), you would be correct. But when you recognize that the US has 18 regions and Canada only has 7 and calculate the accuracy rate based upon 25 total regions, the answer in the article is accurate (22/25 = 88.0%). Note that 16 of the 18 US regions and 6 of the 7 Canadian regions correct equals 22 of 25 regions correct overall.

 

comment

yes i know weather totaly chance and coming year what will be going on god know

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