Where do you turn when you want to do long range planning?
Personally, I use The Old Farmer’s Almanac for long range weather projections. From planning personal gatherings to professional events, I haven’t been disappointed yet.
Right now, media is focused on Isaac ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. In Florida, we’re used to constant updates and advisories on the Tropics anyway.
However, with every system no one knows exactly what a storm will do.
Several sites on the Web offer information, from the National Weather Service at the federal government to Accuweather and Weather Underground. At the moment, no one can definitively say what Isaac will do.
Accuweather said, “[M]eteorologists anticipate the storm curving to the north later this weekend into early next week.” That turn will determine how Florida fares.
Weather Underground said:
“[T]he primary impediment to strengthening will be the interaction with the land masses of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba. How much the inner core of Isaac is disrupted while over land will determine just how much re-strengthening will occur once the center moves back over water after 72 hours.” [As of Aug. 23; 5 a.m.]
The National Weather Service has the customary charts, graphs, cones and data. Puerto Rico is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning, but it’s too early for definite predictions about Florida. NOAA cautioned: “EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 175 NM ON DAY 4 AND 225 NM ON DAY 5...AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY…” [As of Aug. 23; 9 a.m.]
The Almanac currently notes a “Watching the Tropics” scenario on the weather forecast pages. The Almanac’s long range weather assessments, however, projected storms and even some sun for the period Aug. 21-31—“Scattered t-storms, seasonable.”
No mention of a hurricane occurs in the Almanac’s outlook until Sept. 3-8.
The Almanac has a long, storied history. Some of that history is recounted on the website, including the fact that the U.S. Government had good reason to believe the Nazis used the Almanac for planning missions in the U.S.
In 1942, the FBI caught a German spy on Long Island (N.Y.)—he had a copy of the Almanac in his pocket.
My affection for the Almanac began with my grandmother who always planted according to the tables in the book. Each year the Almanac also carries recipes, essays and features often related to our American heritage. Just in case you’re wondering, I don’t get any compensation whatsoever for writing about the publication.
So far, I’m hoping the Almanac is right about that “hurricane threat” holding off until Sept. 3 for Florida.
On The Old Farmer's Almanac website, there’s an interesting account about how weather projections have been calculated for centuries. The formula, said the website, is "kept safely tucked away in a black tin box..."
The Republican National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 27-30.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Aug. 23, 2012)
Related Articles at The US Report