Category Archives: Verification

Catskills keep it dry

A system moving out of the eastern Great Lakes brought some rain and clouds to western New York, but the moisture originated from the Lakes, and didn’t get kicked too high into the atmosphere, which meant that the rain couldn’t transcend the higher terrain of the Catskills and reach Poughkeepsie in downstate New York on Monday. Victoria-Weather was the only outlet to keep rain out of the forecast, but it was  Accuweather’s top notch temperature forecast that allowed them to win the day.
Actuals: Sunday – High 84, Low 59
Monday – High 86, Low 65

Grade: B

Don’t try to make sense of the winds

Olympia sits near sea level, near Puget Sound and surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Surface winds, as a result, aren’t often reflective of the winds found at higher reaches of the atmosphere. This made figuring out the temperature trends rather interesting when looking at the wind direction. It was apparent that the narrow temperature variance on Thursday was a result of overcast conditions, while those clouds cleared out on Friday, and the temperatures were warmer in the afternoon and cooler in the morning. This was because the flow switched from westerly to southerly. Meanwhile, at the surface, wind trends did just the opposite. It cleared out and got warmer when winds at the surface became northwesterly. Mountains are the worst. Forecasts were fairly mediocre, but The Weather Channel collected the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Thursday – High 72, Low 57
Friday – High 83, Low 45

Grade: C-D

Thunderstorms and heat – summer in the south

There wasn’t a strong, well organized system expected to move into the southern United States as last week concluded, unless you think that the rotation and axial tilt of Earth is a strong, well organized system. Monroe saw just what every town in the south is constantly threatened by on Thursday and Friday. Hot weather with isolated thunderstorms in the area. The forecast was not a particular revelation, as the pattern was one that is seen the region over this time of year, so there is some justice in the fact that there was a four way tie atop the leaderboard. Victoria-Weather, The Weather Channel, National Weather Service and Forecast.io all took a share of the lead.
Actuals: Thursday – Thunderstorms reported, not measured, High 92, Low 76
Friday – Thundestorms reported, not measured, High 95, Low 73

Grade: B

Stormy Saturdays

The forecast for Dothan heading into the weekend was a pretty typical summer forecast for the region, constant chances of afternoon thunderstorms. One just passed by the area on Friday, but Saturday saw a direct hit, dumping over an inch of rain in the process. It was a close battle, but WeatherNation edged out VW and the NWS by a single point.

Friday: Thunderstorm reported in vicinity. High 94, Low 76.
Saturday: 1.04″ in thunderstorm. High 93, Low 72.
Forecast Grade: B-D

A comfort zone

July began in Columbia by finding a rut and sticking to it. There was only a difference of 1 degree between the highs on Sunday and Monday, while the lows were exactly the same. There was a big difference in precipitation, though, as the isolated showers and storms didn’t affect the South Carolina capital, but they clobbered the town on Monday, as the promised low level wave cruised through town. Maybe waded through town is a better descriptor, as it didn’t move terribly quickly. The Weather Channel inched past the other competitors, thanks to a some serious consistency and now bad verifying times.
Actuals: Sunday – High 94, Low 73
Monday – .49 inches of rain, High 93, Low 73

Grade: B-C

Not as toasty as advertised

The heat was expected to roast the Yakima Valley at the end of the most recent work week. Forecast highs for Yakima on Thursday and Friday were universally in the 90s, but thanks to the spurious winds of the inter-mountain west, that potential was only barely reached. It remained in the 80s on Thursday, and climbed up to 93 on Friday, but with temperatures dropping all the way to the mid 50s on both days of the forecast period, it never seemed as warm as had been feared. Weatherbug had the coolest forecast of all outlets, and won the forecast.
Actuals: Thursday – High 88, Low 55
Friday – High 93, Low 55

Grade: B-D

No rain, but a lot of heat

Fort Collins, just on the lee side of the Rockies promised to be at the leading edge of any warm up in the Plains, after a broad, overwhelming trough smothered half of the United States. There was a threat that there would be a few isolated strong thunderstorms at the leading edge of this emerging heat wave, but those storms ended up erupting as far east as Nebraska, leaving Fort Collins to swelter in hot downsloping flow, completely avoiding any rain. Temperatures ultimately blew past anyone’s imagination, reaching 97 degrees on Tuesday. Victoria-Weather had one of the better temperature forecasts (still not great), but were pushed to victory because we left rain out of the forecast. It was in Nebraska, for heaven’s sake! I say we were more than just a little lucky.
Actuals: Monday – High 89, Low 50
Tuesday – High 97, Low 52

Grade: C-D

Taking the edge off summer

Summers in TuscaloosaTuscaloosa, Alabama come early, but they seem to slow everything way down. The heat is usually capped in the low 90s, but the number is both kept low numerically and augmented in effect by oppressive humidity. Neither the heat nor the humidity were able to show up this weekend, as a strong cold front swept all that junk out to sea. An unseasonably pleasant dome of high pressure kept temperatures in the 80s, with lows dipping to a sleepable 64 degrees on Sunday morning. The stifling heat was kept at bay following some early rain on Saturday, but it will surely come soon enough. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast for the weekend.
Actuals: Saturday – .34 inches of rain in thunderstorms, high 86, Low 73
Sunday – High 81, Low 64

Grade: B-C

Oceanside oasis

The news through the middle of last week was the oppressive heat and humidity that smothered the desert Southwest. Even if you got just inside the Coastal Range in southern California, temperatures were climbing into the 120s. Along the coast, in San Diego, things were significantly more tolerable. It only reached the low to mid 70s on Wednesday and Thursday, during our forecast period, a solid 50 degrees cooler than other parts of the state. The Weather Channel had the top forecast, navigating the completely isolated weather patterns of the coast.
Actuals: Wednesday, High 74, Low 65
Thursday – High 71, Low 62

Grade B-D

Burned out

Last week, before things got ruined by Cindy, Panama City and the rest of the Florida Panhandle was being overrun by flow off the Gulf, directed towards a series of low pressure centers sweeping through New England. It got a little bit rainier later in this week, but before Cindy would get there, it was surprisingly dry, given the flow regime. Of course, the problem was that nascent tropical feature absorbing any moisture that wanted to come ashore, so that likely played a role in that aberrant lack of rain. In fact, there was no rain on Friday, but there was a splash on Saturday, considerably less than had been in the forecast, pre-Cindy. Those sunnier than expected skies also produced temperatures that were towards the warmer end of forecasts. Victoria-Weather had warm highs, but it was The Weather Channel’s warm lows that earned them the victory.
Actuals: Friday – High 86, Low 70
Saturday – Rain reported, not measured, High 88, Low 75

Grade: B-C