If you considered only the daylight hours, the forecast for Merced was pretty good. Everyone who, at the time, had a functional website, did pretty well with their forecast highs. There were a few exceptions, but it was mostly ok. But then, there were the overnight lows. Thats when most of the error came. The worst was the Wednesday morning low, which nobody did better than 4 degrees of error. the top forecast came to Weatherbug, who rose to the top with a perfect Thursday high.
Actuals: Wednesday – Rain reported, not measured, High 61, Low 43
Thursday – High 64, Low 40
Way back in January, we were worried about the persistent threat for rain and snow that comes with seemingly every wave that moves through the Great Lakes. There was the threat for some drizzle in Flint on the 18th and 19th, but rain is a lot less likely because of lake effect than snow is. Temperatures were above freezing, so snow didn’t happen, and at least during the forecast period, nor did it rain. Accuweather and Weatherbug won the forecast thanks to a nearly precise temperature forecast, but WeatherNation gets kudos for being the only outlet to leave precipitation out of the forecast.
Actuals: Wednesday, January 18th, High 38, Low 35
Thursday, January 19th – High 42, Low 30
The second weekend of the year in eastern Washington may have seemed like a rough weekend, as temperatures were not anticipated to climb out of the lower 20s. In fact, those temperatures couldn’t even clear the mid teens in Yakima, where we issued a forecast on January 14th. Unanticipated was an overcast that brought some light snow all the way down to the Yakima Valley both Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th. The forecasts were calamitous, all across the board, with The Weather Channel narrowly winning the day on a particularly awful forecast. Now, this past week, however, the warm weather has led to rapid snowmelt, accompanied with heavy rain earlier this week has led to some significant flooding in the city of Yakima. Fortunately waters are receding quickly, and after this post, we won’t have to worry about the other disaster – the forecast from January 14th.
Actuals: Saturday, January 15th, snow reported and not measured, High 15, Low 1
Sunday, January 16th – Snow reported and not measured, High 16, Low 12
Just before midnight on Sunday night in Longview, Texas, there was a report of light rain. It was at the regular observing time from an automatic station. Skies were clear. Skies were clear everywhere around Longview. I looked at the radar. Nothing. All signs point to this being an erroneous observation by a robot hopped up on too much late night petroleum (or whatever robots drink). The problem is that a couple of outlets DID forecast rain, and you can’t always just dismiss these random reports. The only fair thing, in my mind, was to let it go, and not worry about precipitation for this particular forecast, and let it boil down to temperature analysis. In that regard, Accuweather (who DID have rain in the forecast) earned the top spot, while Victoria-Weather (who did NOT) followed in close pursuit.
Actuals – Sunday – Precipitation – ???, High 85, Low 57
Monday – High 87, Low 63
The weather of the past two days in Wichita was magnificent, with temperatures climbing up into the upper 70s, warmer even than the most optimistic forecasting outlets. Significantly warmer, actually. Additionally, the Wichita State Shockers, a 10 seed, ended up defeating the Dayton Flyers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Not bad at all. On top of that, everyone could go outside for their St. Patrick’s Day parade! The Weather Channel enjoyed the top forecast of the day.
Actuals: Thursday – High 76, Low 38
Friday – High 78, Low 50
I think the weather this past weekend in Fresno could be labelled as perfect by most opinion havers. The only issue is that there was no rain in an area that is still in drought. Of course, there has been SOME rain this winter, and who wants to make up their rain deficits in one continuous shot? The sunny Fresno weather led to some very good forecasts across the board, with Accuweater able to claim a victory slightly better than the competition.
Actuals: Saturday – High 75, Low 49
Sunday – High 76, Low 51
The forecast for Dothan, AL panned out as expected, precip-wise anyways. Saturday was pleasantly sunny, perhaps just a couple degrees cooler than expected. Sunday morning, the light rain showers moved on in, but overcast skies behind it kept temperatures WAY below what was expected. Like 10 degrees lower. Oops. Oh well, people probably weren’t going out much Sunday anyways. VW, TWC, and AW all tied for the win, albeit not with a score we’re particularly proud of.
Saturday: High 69, Low 45.
Sunday: 0.17″ of rain. High 54, Low 46.
Forecast Grade: D
I noted in the forecast discussion for Florence that Forecast.io went off course compared to the rest of our outlets. There was little indication that a system developing over the Tennessee Valley would hold together as it moved across the southern Appalachians, but Forecast.io saw it coming. There was a predawn rumble of thunder followed by a brisk north wind on Friday. This brought Forecast.io level with Victoria-Weather, as we had our own insight that eluded the others. It was much cooler than most other expected on Thursday morning, allowing for the tie.
Actuals: Thursday – High 77, Low 37
Friday – .08 inches of rain, High 77, Low 47
The west coast was raked wit ha couple of systems over the last two days, and they both struck direct hits on Bellingham, with a total of over half an inch over the two day period. Temepratures didn’t have much room to maneuver, varying only 10 degrees within the 48 hour period, owing to the persistent cloud cover. The lack of temperature fluctuation meant there was a logjam at the top of the leaderboard, with five outlets tying for the victory. The Weather Channel, Accuweather, National Weather Service, Weatherbug and WeatherNation all had different forecasts but the same net result.
Actuals: Wednesday – .26 inches of rain High 45, Low 35
Thursday – .32 inches of rain, High 41, Low 35
On January First, we had our first forecast of the year, in the remote northern outpost of Lewiston, Idaho. Lewiston is in the mountains, and Anthony was almost certainly overserved the day before the forecast, Victoria-Weather, just like the other outlets around us, didn’t come out to a very good start in 2017. Temperatures were significantly warmer than expected, with highs in the upper 20s, with lows also notably warmer than anticipated. The forecast was a bust all the way around, but the warmest outlet, Forecast.io, had the first good forecast of the year.
Actuals: January 2nd – High 28, Low 21
January 3rd – High 27, Low 14