Battle of the Predictions: Old Farmer’s Almanac Vs. NOAA
Everyone has seen the always dramatic weather forecasts from the almanacs. They are predicting a severe winter with some major snowy outbreaks for the San Angelo area this Winter.
Almanacs historically are about 50/50 when it comes to being accurate. Given that they also are trying to make money, it is always better for them if their predictions lean toward the dire. Afterall, bad news sells, right?
Unfortunately, long range scientific climate predictions that are based 100% on the latest data are not THAT much more accurate. In fact, during Texas Deep Freeze in 2021, more almanac's predicted a severe cold snap than long range NOAA forecasts, except 10-14 days out.
With all that in mind, on October 20th, the official winter weather forecasts were issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. Generally, the predictions for the San Angelo area trend toward above average winter temperatures with below average precipitation.
Before we get into the specifics. Here is what the National Weather Service says are the averages for San Angelo winter weather. Here are the average High/Low Temperatures by month and the average number of days of precipitation
Meanwhile the map below is what the Farmer's Almanac says the winter will be like this year...
So, as for comparisons, The Farmer's Almanac doesn't see above average temperatures anywhere except the southwest. NOAA has the San Angelo area above average in temperature and below average in precipitation. The almanac says precipitation will be lower than normal and temperatures likely above normal.
We'll have to wait until after the season to add up the results. My feeling is that both will be about 50% accurate.
As for the winter, about the best advice anyone can give is be prepared. Whether you talk to the almanac editors or NOAA scientists, there's one thing they both agree on: When it comes to weather, always expect the unexpected.