Monthly Archives: September 2020

Farmers Almanac vs. Old Farmers Almanac vs. Meteorologists

2020-2021 Old Farmers Almanac vs Farmers Almanac weather maps

Brian Ivey from Neoweather took a look at the 2020-21 Farmers Almanac versus the OLD Farmers Almanac predictions for this winter and how it differs from today’s weather models. Are the Almanacs accurate? How do they compare to each other and today’s real meteorologists? How do these predictions get determined? Let’s take a look!

The OLD Farmers Almanac predictions for 2020-21

The Old Farmers’ Almanac predicts a pretty mild winter with “more wet than white” weather in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions. The only real snowy weather is predicted to be in the Rockies and New England. Most of the Southeast is “not so cold, not too wet.” Even Alaska is predicted to be mild and wetter weather than usual.

The Old Farmers Almanac was founded in 1792 by Robert B. Thomas. Since then it has made predictions every year up to 18 months in advance for 18 regions in the United States and 7 regions in Canada.

What the [new] Farmers Almanac predicts for this winter instead

The new/regular Farmers Almanac is very different from the Old Farmers Almanac this year! In fact, several regions have the exact opposite weather prediction. For example, it says the Midwest will be “cold, above-normal snowfall” and the Southeast will be “chilly, showery” instead of “gorgeous!” It expects the cold air to be more extreme and to stretch further into the south.

The Farmers Almanac was first printed in 1818 by David Young. It varies from the Old Almanac by predicting weather 16 months in advance (versus 18 months) for seven climate zones in the U.S. and for five zones in Canada. That’s quite a few less than the Old Farmers Almanac (18 U.S. regions and 7 in Canada).

How are the Almanacs’ predictions made and are they accurate?

Both Farmers Almanacs have different forecasts because they use different factors when predicting the weather. After all, they are competitors in reality. But here are three things they both use (but use a bit differently):

  1. Sun Spots and Moon Phases
  2. Prevailing Climate Cycle and Weather Forklore
  3. Proprietary Formulas

The Old Farmers Almanac uses solar conditions and sunspot activity as a big variable. The long-range weather community has noticed in recent years solar activity doesn’t have a strong correlation with temperature trends. “I can tell you it’s not common meteorological practice to use space weather as an indicator, based on my years of experience and research,” said former president of the American Meteorological Society, Marshall Shepherd, in an interview with TIME.

The exact “folklore” used and formulas for Almanac predictions are really unknown, so we can’t say exactly how they come up with their forecasts, but we do know that their proven accuracy is well below the accuracy of modern meteorologists today at about 24-25% accuracy in reality. We realize that even meteorologist’s long-range forecasts aren’t the most accurate, but they are still well above 50% accuracy. So there is a BIG accuracy difference between a real meteorologist long-range forecast and almanacs.

Both Almanacs were only 24-25% accurate last year

Both Almanacs have cited that their accuracy can be betwen 80-95 percent. However, editors and publishers of the popular predictions have never provided evidence to back up these claims. Most meteorologists believe only on their best winter forecasts they get close to those numbers. The high accuracy claim may be because the Almanacs keep the forecasts extremely general over large regional areas. In other words, the predictions are vague enough to fit multiple situations and still claim to be accurate.

Neoweather Winter 2020-21 Long Range Forecast

e Forecast Map

The biggest pattern predictor Neoweather is looking at so far for this winter is the very warm water temperatures in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, as well as in the Gulf. We are surrounded by above-average water temps. However, further south in the Pacific, there are well BELOW average water temperatures showing that a La Niña will be a factor this winter. What will that mean? Usually, it means wetter and colder weather than average up North and warmer and drier weather in the South. Neoweather is forecasting that the coldest temps will be confined to the Northern Plains overall. They anticipate the warmer temps in the South will push up and keep the temps from falling below average in the Midwest and through the center of the country much. The South and much of the East is expected to have a mild winter.

9/17/2020: Neoweather’s 2020-2021 Winter Weather Forecast

If you are looking for more long and short-range forecasts for your snow removal service area, contact Neoweather today! They can save you money by deploying your crews at the right time with the right equipment and materials!

Sally is Bringing Rain, But What Else is Happening?

It’s all over the news, so it’s no surprise to you that Hurricane Sally is pounding Louisiana and the South. But what is expected as it moves through and in the rest of the country? Brian Ivey from Neoweather takes a look at that and this week’s weather forecast below.

Today Sally is expected to make landfall with winds up to 120 miles an hour as it S L O W L Y moves over the already saturated land around the Florida Pan Handle and Eastern Louisiana. After it hits the northern Gulf Coast, Sally will weaken a little, but it continues to show a lot of red on the map as it moves northeast across Alabama, through Georgia and onward. We expect to see areas impacted by Sally to see 10-15 inches of rain!

What is the rest of the country going to see for weather? Brian says the next 10 days will be very dry everywhere that Sally doesn’t touch. There might be a little rain up in the Midwest but that’s just a slight risk due to a high pressure system that is expected to break up anything that comes its way. Everywhere except the Southeast is expected to be dry.

9/15/2020 Weather Map showing cooler temps moving in from Canada

What about the temps? While it will probably be dry, the temps are expected to be cooler than average in the northern half of the country in the coming days and weeks so don’t gloat too much just yet! Brian expects to see waves of much colder than average temps coming down from Canada throughout September. Some areas will get nighttime lows in the 30s and 40s at times with daytime highs in the 50s!

If you are looking for help with more accurate weather forecasts targeting YOUR service area, check out Neoweather! They specialize in making custom forecasts focusing on the details that make a difference for snow plow contractors!

50 Degree Drop in Temps!? Will it Warm Up?

Saying things really cooled off suddenly this week is a total understatement! A system really cooled things down in the Rockies and even brought some significant snow with it. After moving out, some significant rain came in. While the cool weather sticks around in the central regions, warmth continues in the west and southeast through next week.

9/9/2020 Weekly Weather Forecast

If you live out West you saw 40-50 degree drops in temperature Tuesday and Wednesday. That was accompanied by a big snowstorm east of the Rockies that continued until Wednesday. That snow turned into a large rain front by the time it hit the Colorado state line. So lots of precipitation from all the way up in the U.P. down to San Antonio, Texas in one wide swath of a system. That system clears up on the northern and southern ends, but remains active in the middle of the country through the week.

9/10/2020 Weather Map showing precipitation
9/10/2020 Weather Map showing precipitation

This weekend is expected to be wet in the Great Lakes and East. No flooding or major events are expected, but several rounds are rain are probably on the way. By Monday the country looks much drier.

Neoweather is now serving Canada!

That’s right, Neoweather is now offering customized forecasts to weather-dependent businesses like snow and ice management companies in Canada. Neoweather provides detailed, location-specific forecasts to help with the planning and dispatch of your crews. Save money, time, and resources with Neoweather!

What Spare Parts Should Every Snow Plower Carry?

We interviewed several dealers at the 2020 World Truck Show and asked them which spare parts they think every snow plow contractor should have in their truck at all times.

Here’s a break down on what the dealers we interviewed had to say:

Steve Jennings of Jennings Welding & Fabrication in New York

  • Quart of Fluid
  • One Return Spring
  • Lift Cylinder Hoses

Will the Welder of Xtreme Fabrication in Maryland adds these items to the list:

  • Motor Relay
  • Solenoid

Jeen Stork of Stork’s Plows in Pennsylvania adds:

  • Dielectric Grease
  • Strap or Chain (to hold it up if something breaks)
  • Hose (stock the longest to it covers every application in a pinch)

Other dealers mentioned some of the same things. For example, Tod Bozer from Bob’s Services in Alaska thinks the most important things are spare hoses and extra fluids. Dale Chestnut from Double D Services in Wisconsin agrees that a solenoid is important, and also to carry a trip spring, oil and a lift chain. He says those are the things that typically fail unexpectedly that a driver can fix himself. Rondo Ziegler of Rondo Enterprises & Trailers in Illinois also mentioned fluid, common hoses, a solenoid, and some of the relays depending on your plow type. Eric Flores of Push-N-Pull in Pennsylvania agrees that dielectric grease, fluids, and hoses are key.

Jerry Heyer of Jerry's Service with Will the Welder for Snow Plow News
Jerry Heyer of Jerry’s Service with Will the Welder for Snow Plow News

Jerry Heyer of Jerry’s Service in Pennsylvania added a few new items to the list. It may seem obvious, but these items are easy to forget:

  • They should have common sense
  • Phone numbers of other snow plowers for help if needed
  • Basic knowledge of not only how the plow operates, but how to fix basic things that can breakdown and stop you in your tracks
  • Jumper cables
  • Ratchet strap & small floor jack (to pick the plow up if needed)

To get even more information to prepare you for your best snow season yet, read more on the Snow Plow News blog.

How Fisher V Plows Stand Out from the Crowd

At the 2020 NTEA World Truck Show, we talked with Steve Marsh at Fisher Engineering to find out what he thinks are the main advantages of using a Fisher V Plow, especially the new EZ-V. See what he had to say below.

Fisher offers their XV2 v-plow in a variety of sizes, both in a mild and stainless steel material starting at 7-1/2′ width up to 10-1/2′ width for class 6 trucks. The EZ-V v-plow comes in the 7-1/2′ size, but it has wings that stretch from a 27″ center height up to 33″ at the outer edge giving it incredible height.

Steve also says they have an industry-leading trip edge that works properly whether the plow is configured to be a v-plow, scoop, or straight edge. Lastly, Steve really likes the Minute Mount 2 all mechanical mounting system that doesn’t rely on the plow’s electrical or hydraulic system to mount the plow to the truck. It allows operators to easily hook-up the plow without tools or electrical switches that can fail and waste time and money. Steve says, “This leads to reliable mounting time after time, year after year.”

Fisher EZ-V v-plow
Fisher EZ-V v-plow

The Fisher EZ-V v-plow has a durable but lightweight design making it a good solution for half-ton trucks. It’s made from high-strength, low alloy steel which makes it stronger and lighter than conventional steel. It also has a center snow control deflector that prevents snow from going over the top of the blade in the middle of the plow at all positions.

If you’d like more information about any of the Fisher V-Plows, just contact them today!

Industrial Grade Wipes for in Your Truck!

We sent out Will the Welder to highlight his favorite products at the 2020 NTEA World Truck Show so we could showcase them for you here. The Grime Boss Wipes are an industrial-grade cleaning wipe that he loves. See why!

Grime Boss HD Wipes

As their website says, “This ain’t no baby wipe” and boy is that true. The Grime Boss Heavy Duty Wipes are a must-have for snow and ice contractors to put in their trucks so they can get their hands clean after break downs and adjusting equipment on the road.

“It’s just like using an industrial hand cleaner at the shop! This stuff works absolutely fantastic. I have one in every one of my plow trucks.”

Will Fries of Xtreme Fabrication and Snow Plow News

The heavy-duty wipes by Grime Boss are safe for skin with Vitamin E and Aloe, yet they easily remove latex paint and caulk, oil and grease, adhesives, mud and dirt, odors, stains, ad more. You can use them on your hands, face, tools, and work area. With these industrial wipes, you won’t need rags, shop towels, pumice, or soap and water anymore. They are super strong and extra-large with dual scrubbing action that has one tough side and one smooth side.

Grime Boss Heavy Duty Wipes
Grime Boss Heavy Duty Wipes

You can buy Grime Boss direct from the manufacturer in package counts of 5, 30, 60, or 120 wipes. They come in a moisture-locked package so they don’t dry out. You can also find them online at popular national retailers like Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and more.

See the Hiniker V Plow Advantages

Mark Miller from Hiniker gave us the low down on why he thinks Hiniker V plows are the best at the 2020 NTEA World Truck Show. See his list of advantages below!

Hiniker V Plow Advantages

Hiniker uses heavy duty construction to make a long lasting plow. One highlight is the chrome allow curb guards and wear bars that provide extensive protection from damage and premature wear to extend the cutting edge life of your plow. With the chrome alloy, you’re expected to get twice the life out of your cutting edge when compared to similar V plows. This will lower your replacement costs, maintenance expenses, and down time.

Next, the Lift Link System is a great advantage over a lift chain because it eliminates bounce when traveling down the road from job to job. Not only does this extend the life of your plow, but it is also a safer design that is more reliable than simply having a chain.

Hiniker V Plow Lift Link System
Hiniker V Plow Lift Link System

Finally, one of the other advantages of the Hiniker V Plow is the intuitive controller. Hiniker gets excellent feedback on how easy these controllers are to use. It’s not a touchpad, you can control everything with only your thumb. Crews say it’s easy to hold in your hand while driving. You can perform all the V plow functions with only your thumb, whether you need to scoop, vee, angle right, angle left, raise or lower the plow.

Get more product news and tips from Snow Plow News by checking out even more on our blog!

How to Extend the Life of Your Snow Plow

We sent Will the Welder to the 2020 NTEA World Truck Show to talk to industry experts and one thing he asked was advice on how to extend the life of your plow. Check out what they had to say!

Tips on extending the life of your plow

Think you know everything about maintaining your plow? Why not make sure! Here are the tips your industry peers wanted to share:

“Do the maintenance like they said every year. Change the fluid so you don’t get any water in there… get the [contanimants] out of the plow and grease the cylinders to they don’t get any rust on them and stuff when you’re not using it.”

Rondo Ziegler, Rondo Enterprises & Trailers in Illinois

“Regular maintenance – make sure the mounting bolts are tight to the chassis, make sure your fluid levels are up, make sure that you have no binds in the wiring harnesses that wire the plow to the chassis.

Tod Bozer of Bob’s Services in Alaska

“So storage is a big thing. A lot of people don’t clean them properly and they just stick them outside without covering them or taking care of them. If you can put it inside and you can put dielectric grease in the plugs and change the fluid, put some grease on any chrome that’s exposed in the cylinder – those things will extend the life of your plow.”

Jeen Stork of Stork’s Plows in Pennsylvania
Will Fries and Jeen Stork at 2020 NTEA World Truck Show
Will Fries and Jeen Stork at 2020 NTEA World Truck Show

When asked what typically goes wrong with snowplows regardless of the brand, Tod Bozer of Bob’s Services in Alaska cited abuse. He thinks using plows for things they weren’t created for and traveling at too high of speeds and hitting things is the number one thing that goes wrong.

Several other experts chimed in with similar answers, encouraging a good maintenance program and changing fluids regularly. Washing off the plow after using it is key to remove corrosive materials.

Jerry Heyer from Jerry’s Service in Pennsylvania brought up a good point – “Actually pay attention to it like they do their truck.” It’s easy to ignore the plow since it has no engine in it and focus our attention on maintaining the truck that might break down and leave us stranded. But plows can break down too and cost us time and money. And if you do break your plow, get it fixed before you store it away for the next storm so it’s always ready to go!

Want more tips and new product news for the snow and ice industry? Keep reading the Snow Plow News blog. We are your #1 source for snow and ice management news and reviews that matters most to you!

How to Get Heated LED Strobe Lights in Several Color Options

We sent out Will the Welder from Xtreme Fabrication to find the best innovations at the 2020 NTEA World Truck Show. Here is one of the products he loved: The J.W. Speaker Heated LED Strobe Lights. What makes these strobe lights different from others? Watch the video below or keep reading!

J.W. Speaker Corporation Heated LED Strobe Lights video

This year J.W. Speaker introduced the first ever heated LED strobe lights. No more blocked lights from the snow that kicks up. Since LEDs don’t throw off heat on their own, J.W. Speaker modified their design so you can have the endurance and brightness of an LED, but a specially heated light to melt the snow off the lens.

Another nice feature is that these lights come in a variety of colors to meet requirements for different colors across the nation. Different state or providence requirements won’t limit you from using these lights! You can choose from green, amber or blue LED lights. You can also choose from different strobe patterns.

Heated Strobe Lights in 3 Colors
Heated Strobe Lights in 3 Colors

These lights are available in strobe and also non-strobe for use around your truck. They can be mounted vertically, horizontally or even on an angle if needed. Whether you need heated LED brake lights or hazards, they have you covered. Having a powerful, bright and long-lasting LED keeps your truck or trailer visible for less accidents and expenses. Heating those babies up just makes all the sense in the world. This will be another game-changer in the snow and ice industry!

Features:

  • Fits any standard 6-inch oval-shaped lights
  • An industry first to have heated front position and heated front turn lights with LED technology
  • Heated LED signal lights are 12-24 volt
  • Upgrade to heated LED trailer lights with ease
  • Mounting options include flange, grommet, or L-shaped bracket
  • Superior sealing rating (IP69K)
  • DOT-compliant for legal on-road use
  • Flash & strobe features available