One weather expert says Iowans who put stock in the Old Farmers Almanac should consider just listening to forecasts on the radio instead. Ken Duehy from the High Plains Regional Climatology Center says the much-touted accuracy of the Farmers Almanac is mostly bunk. He compared last year’s actual weather stats with the Almanac’s predictions. Our summer was supposed to be hot and dry but it was one of the coldest, coolest and wettest springs and summers in the history of the Midwest. The northeast was supposed to have a hot and dry summer too and it turned out to be their coldest-ever summer and the second or third wettest. Duehy, the chief climatic data analyst at the center, says he only picks up the Almanac for kicks. Duehy says Iowa farmers, at least those worth the price of an ear of corn, should steer away from the Farmer’s Almanac. He says the tome is published two years in advance. He says “If we knew two years ahead of time and whether it was accurate, we could adjust all of our farming activities…and our futures and crops. The reality of it is, we can’t.” Duehy says if the Almanac is based on some sort of science, it’s bad science, given the forecasts it publishes. “It’s exactly the opposite for almost the entire country. The Farmer’s Almanac got it almost exactly wrong. You’d be more accurate just tossing a coin,” as a coin will give you 50-50 odds. He says the Almanac is only right 28-percent of the time. The High Plains Regional Climate Center is based at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and is affiliated with six other schools, including Iowa State University.
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