Category Archives: Verification

Weather Wayback… Autumn came on time

Back in September, just as summer ended and fall arrived, Anthony looked at the weather in Salt Lake City. We have had a tough time seeing the arrival of spring this year, but Salt Lake City had no delay in seeing fall arrive. A cold front swept through town, bringing temperatures down to an autumnal level, right when temperatures are supposed to be brought down to an autumnal level. SLC is in a deep valley, and they tend to dodge most of the significant weather, but the 21st and 22nd were cool and gray, just like it’s supposed to be in the fall. The Weather Channel secured victory for the day.
Actuals: September 21st – Rain reported, not measured High 58, Low 51
September 22nd – .01” of rain, High 53, Low 41

Grade B- C

A turn for the worse

There Bridgeport was, just minding their own business, enjoying a spring weekend with temperatures in the mid 60s on Saturday. Delightful! Well, overnight, a big area of low pressure in the Great Lakes approached, and its friend, Gulfstream Moisture, rushed to meet it. This lead to a much cooler, drizzly day on Sunday, completely turning the weekend on its head. Ultimately, the top forecast went to The Weather Channel, so you can blame them for things getting so nasty as the weekend ended.
Actuals : Saturday – High 64, Low 44
Sunday – .46 inches of rain, High 45, Low 37

Grade A –C

March forecaster of the month

Is it summer yet? No? The longest winter in some time is continuing unabated, with systems plowing the East Coast and cold weather entrenched in the Plains, March was lion all the way through. April hasn’t been that great to start off either, but it seemed to work out well for Victoria-Weather, who forecasted like the cold didn’t bother them. Even if the weather doesn’t turn around, we will certainly hope that that the forecasting skill continues at the same pace.

Back when forecasts were good

After such a cataclysmic verification for Rapid City yesterday, let’s step back in time, to the middle of September. The weather was dry in northern California, and the forecasting was easy. Sacramento was the scene of one of those forecasts, and while forecasts were a bit warm, they were only a handful of degrees, and not 10-15 degrees over the mark, as they were in South Dakota. Yes, these were indeed better days. Back then, we even let Weatherbug win a forecast every now and again. Crazy times I tell you.
Actuals: September 13th – High 79, Low 63
September 14th – High 78, Low 62

Grade A-B

Cold was expected, then it was even colder

The Northern Plains are in a vicious cycle, with waves of inclement weather sweeping into the area, bringing more cold and more snow to an area that doesn’t need it. Of course, in early April, what part of the country DOES need it? With that premise in mind, it’s even more frustrating for residents of western South Dakota that it was even colder than expected. A system moved through Rapid City and brought temperatures below freezing for almost the entirety of of the 48 hour verification period. There was also a nearly 5″ snowfall accumulation, which nobody needed, certainly. This snow, and these cold temperatures took everyone off guard, and forecasts were as terrible as the weather. Forecast.io barely had the best forecast, but it wasn’t particularly good.
Actuals: Monday – 2″ of snow, High 34, Low 16
Tuesday – 2.3″ of snow, High 21, Low 9

Grade: F

Spring is in Texas

I’m not talking about the town of Spring, Texas, which is a real place. No, I’m talking about the weather in Houston at the beginning of the week. Temperatures were in the 80s  for highs on Monday and Tuesday… 82 both days, to be exact. Houston did have to contend with some high humidity, and onshore flow resulted sprinkles on Tuesday afternoon, but by golly, the northern part of the country is going to dip all the way down to single digits this weekend, so to me, 82 and humid sounds fine, with or with a bit of rain. Weatherbug snuck in and picked off the top forecasts by just a hair.

Actuals: Monday – High 82, Low 69
Tuesday – .04 inches of rain, High 82, Low 73

Grade A – C

Strong enough to clear the Sierras

There is a large system battering the West Coast this week, though it is second fiddle to the next in a long line of features pummeling the East Coast. Carson City lies in the rain shadow of the Sierras around Lake Tahoe, and to demonstrate just how strong this feature was, I can say that it even produced a little rain yesterday in the Nevada capital. The real show was closer to the coast where there was concern about landslides, and in the mountains, impressive snowfall. In Carson City, though, we had a forecast, and Accuweather correctly anticipated the strength of this system, and had a very good, very accurate forecast.
Actuals: Monday, High 50, Low 23
Tuesday – Rain reported, not measured, High 48, Low 30

Grade: A-C

Santa Barbara endures perfect weather.

A week after unseasonably cold weather brought snow to the mountains north of town, and a few months after the region was threatened by wildfires, Santa Barbara was confronted by annother weather phenomenon: The reason nobody ever wants to leave. Not only did the sun shine on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the high temperatures were near 70 in the afternoon, and a terrifically sleepable low 40s overnight. The was even a picturesque morning fog on Wednesday to complete the scene. Victoria – Weather had the top forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 74, Low 37
Wednesday – High 69, Low 41

Grade: B-F

Weather Wayback…. Better days

I won’t linger on this verification for too long. We’re looking at the end of August in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which has been raked over the coals in the last few days, getting blasted by back to back nor’Easters dropping snow and brining damaging winds to the region. Back in August, Bridgeport had the kind of weather that keeps people living in Connecticut. Highs were in the mid 70s with sunny skies for two days in a row. Hard to take exception with that. The forecasts were a lot more accurate with the docile weather too, with The WeatherChannel only ending up with 2 degrees of error for the period.

Actuals: Sunday August 27th – High 75, Low 58
Monday – August 28th, High 74, Low 59

Grade: A-B

Here comes spring

I will say that a lot of the early part of the year has been marked by one thing: A complete and utter disaster on the forecasting front. There have been many universally poor grades, and the forecast that was issued for Ames last week was no different. The good news is, the forecast went awry because it was significantly warmer than expected, and completely dry. It hit 60 degrees on Tuesday, so I think most residents of Ames will be ok with this type of a forecast bust. Weatherbug can claim a victory this time around.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 60, Low 31
Wednesday – High 52, Low 31

Grade D