Category Archives: Verification

Not quite tropical, except for the rains

Late last week, it appeared that tropical storm Beryl was in the near future for the western Gulf of Mexico. As it would ultimately turn out, however, the storm didn’t organize enough to be named, but it did bring quite a bit of rain to eastern Texas. On Friday and Saturday, though, College Station was still concerning itself with the onshore flow associated with the strengthening low. The problem was that it wasn’t quite strong enough to really pipe in any moisture based on circulation alone. There was nary a drop those two days, which was unexpected by almost everyone, and the dry, sunny days meant warm days as well. The warmest forecasters were the Weather Service and WeatherNation, and they snagged the top spot.
Actuals: Friday – High 96, Low 74
Saturday – High 95, Low 75

Grade: B-D

Topeka got throttled

Early last week, we took a look at the forecast for Kansas’ capital, Topeka. A cold front preparing to bisect the Plains was set to touch off thunderstorms in the area on Monday, and it was going to be close, whether or not those storms fired up before the boundary passed Topeka or not. Perhaps the headline gave it away. There were severe storms all around Topeka, particularly northeast of town on Monday night. They collected exactly one inch of rain before all was said and done, with hail and gusty winds to boot. There was just a trace on Tuesday, and the subsequent day must have felt much more comfortable.
Actuals: Monday – 1.00″ in heavy thunderstorms, High 99, Low 69
Tuesday – Trace in rain, high 92, Low 69

Grade: C

Crisp cool nights with storms on the horizon

Thunderstorms were rampant and dangerous across the Dakotas on Friday, with severe storms afflicting the central parts of those states. There were tornadoes west of Bismarck in North Dakota and gusty winds and hail along the Missouri river in South Dakota. It mostly erupted to the east of Rapid City, however, with cooler air encroaching after the strong thunderstorms blew up and moved on. There was a trace of rain Friday night for Rapid City, but their forecast was marked mostly by clear skies and temperatures that were significantly cooler than what had been forecast for the overnight lows. Victoria-Weather ended up with the top forecast for the day, to take us into June..
Actuals Friday – .01 inches of rain, High 83, Low 51
Saturday – High 72, Low 45

Grade D-F

Under the influence

Alberto was about parallel with Spartanburg when we compiled a forecast for the Carolina city on Tuesday, and the storm moved north towards the Great Lakes during the verification period. Over the course of that period, Alberto still exerted his influence along the Atlantic coast, training a great deal of rain fall, especially on the eastern exposures of the Appalachians. In Spartanburg, it rained about half an inch over the two day period, but more sun peeked between the clouds on Thursday to bring temperatures up a few degrees. The Weather Channel had a very good forecast and won the day.
Actuals: Wednesday – .28″ of the rain, High 82, Low 69
Thursday – .25″ of rain, High 86, Low 68

Grade: A-C

Weather Wayback… what was up in Washington?

When I looked back at an October forecast for Bremerton, opposite Seattle on Puget Sound, I was struck by one thing: The monotony of the temperature forecasts. No forecaster strayed more than a degree for their forecast high from day to day, and the biggest change in the low temperature forecast for any forecaster was 2 degrees. Across the board, including all highs and lows, both for Sunday and Monday, the range in temperatures was a high of 61-64 to a low of 41-45. Wouldn’t you know it, then, that literally every forecast was busted on day one, Sunday the 15th, when the high was 60 and the low 35. Monday cooperated, as well it should have, given the uniformity of the forecasts.  Victoria-Weather had the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Sunday, October 15th – High 60, Low 35
Monday, October 16th – High 62, Low 41

Grade: C

None of the wheat, all of the chaff

The Inter-Mountain West is presently being put through a fairly early bout with the monsoon. Most of the activity has been confined to the Rocky Mountain peaks, but some of that convective activity billowed back into the Ogden area. It was enough to keep temperatures cool — at least cooler than some outlets thought it would be. Some of those clouds came with clouds, but there were only a couple of drops on Tuesday, really messing with the final veryification numbers. The Weather Channel drew level with Weatherbug, thanks to precipitation issues.
Actuals: Monday – High 78, Low 53
Tuesday – .01 inches of rain, High 69. Low 55

Grade: A-C

Weather Wayback… Sun when it really counted

In early October, not long after we put together the forecast for La Crosse, Anthony assembled a forecast for Danville, Virginia, that got a little bit more out of hand than anyone really anticipated. With forecasts pegged in the upper 70s to low 80s on October 10th and 11th, the temperatures instead climbed all the way to 87 on both days, thanks to sun that shone brightly on the town from the early to mid afternoon, just when it had it’s maximum impact. The sun mixed with heat and humidity, destabilizing the environment and leading to evening thunderstorms on each day of the forecast, moreso on Tuesday the 10th than on Wednesday. Victoria-Weather narrowly surpassed our rivals, though the warmth was more than anyone truly anticipated.
Actuals: October 10th – .47 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 87, Low 72
October 11th – Trace of rain in thunderstorms, High 87, Low 67

Grade: C-D

Weather wayback…. History repeats

With a large system presently moving through the south central United States, cooler weather is being pulled into the Upper Midwest, as though a cold front has just sneaked through the region without our knowledge. There wasn’t any rain, but suddenly it’s noticeably cooler.  Something similar happened back in early October in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where temperatures on the 8th were in the upper 70s. Then, despite the fact that there had been no rain to speak of, it cooled by about 10 degrees on the 9th. Smarty-pants Anthony saw it coming, however, and tied atop the leaderboard with The Weather Channel.
Actuals: October 8th – High 78, Low 53
October 9th – High 69, Low 43

Grade: C

An extended vacation

The last few days have been on repeat, with showers and storms slicing from the Ohio Valley and south through the central Plains. When this pattern set up, it did so just to the southeast of Lincoln, so after the first round of showers on Friday morning, it got significantly cooler as Mother’s Day weekend approached. Ahead of that, however, we had our forecast period in Lincoln, and it was warm and mostly sunny, without a drop until after the forecast period was over. The mid 80s in mid-May, especially after a long winter and a head of a return to some chillier air was certainly a welcome turn of events. Forecast.io snuck in and won the day.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 86, Low 57
Thursday – High 86, Low 55

Grade: B-C

Storms get a bit out of hand

Let’s first state something about the Holland, Michigan forecast and the weather there through the middle of the week: For the most part, it was a pretty decent few days for locals in western Michigan. Wednesday evening got a little bit wild, as strong thunderstorms moved  into the area, dropping a half inch of rain in Holland, but also leading to some storm reports both to the north and south of Holland in Allandale and South Haven, respectively. The good news is that the threat for showers and thunderstorms was there for every forecast, so it wasn’t unanticipated, and though there was some property damage, there were no injuries or anything worse. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast for the day.
Actuals, Tuesday – High 76, Low 41
Wednesday – .48 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 79, Low 53

Grade: A-C