Category Archives: Verification

The rain in Maine

Low pressure kept streaking across New England this week, but the most recent rounds merely grazed Portland. Not much ultimately reached the ground on Tuesday or Wednesday, the first at the tail end of activity from a cold front, and Wednesday’s bout affiliated with wrap around flow, with only a hundredth measured on either day of the forecast period. We were the only outlet with rain in the forecast both days, and were near the top of the temperature forecast, collecting the top forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday – .01 inches of rain, High 57, Low 42
Wednesday – .01 inches of rain, High 58, Low 39

Grade: B-D

On the toasty side

Our forecasters were in for a surprise in New Hampshire. During our forecast for Manchester, ceilings were low, showers were everywhere and the town was destined to remain in the 60s last Monday. Then, the sun came out, and Tuesday spiked all the way to 80 degrees. Wednesday was even warmer, and forecasters were left hat in hand (mostly because it was too warm to wear it), trying to figure out just how it could be that toasty in October. The Weather Channel, as they have been lately, were the closest to the mark, gaining forecast victory
Actuals: Tuesday – High 80, Low 52
Wednesday – High 84, Low 65

Grade: A-C

Before Michael

Hurricane Michael has made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, between Apalachicola and Panama City Beach. It’s a big storm, that’s fast moving, which will limit the flooding, but exasperates the wind and surge in the region. The storm is going to bring trouble well inland, even as far northeast as the Carolinas, but not even as far west as Pensacola or Mobile. 
At the beginning of the month, we had a forecast for another Gulf Coast state, as we visited Pascagoula in southern Mississippi. There had been a stationary front along the Gulf coast that threatened to bring isolated showers and storms to the region, and most outlets suspected that threat of rain would limit temperatures. I bought into the trends, and Victoria-Weather joined Accuweather atop the leaderboard for the forecast in Pascagoula.
Actuals: Monday (10-1) – .01 inches of rain, high 90, Low 72
Tuesday – High 91, Low 73

Grade: B-C

Fuzzy Forecast

There was a big broad trough across the northern part of the US as September rolled into October. The trough brought cloud, cold temperatures and a lot of uncertainty, particularly in the Eastern Great Lakes. There wasn’t much rain with the feature, so it was tough to really put it in the forecast, and as a result, everyone who did put rain in the forecast for Utica had it on the wrong day. There was a only a trace of rain on Sunday the 30th, when it seemed like rain would be more likely on Saturday morning when the surface activity was more intense. Victoria Weather was more optimistic about the rain threat, and we had a top forecast for this amorphous blob of weather. 
Actuals: Saturday the 29th – High 63, Low 44
Sunday – Rain reported, not measured, High 61, Low 39

Grade: C-D

Stormy In Massachusetts

As expected, afternoon rain and thunderstorms moved into the Pittsfield area associated with a cold front. Some light rains lingered after midnight, but cleared out by morning and temperatures warmed into the 60s. Overcast skies and the midday rains kept the temperatures down for Tuesday, which was the bulk of the error in temperatures during this forecast. Weatherbug narrowly edged out V-W for the win by a single point.

Tuesday: Rain in afternoon hours. High 59, Low 53.
Wednesday: Early morning rain shower. High 64, Low 51.
Forecast Grade: B-

Blacksburg turns it around

The beginning of the week was quite cool, as a slow moving boundary moved towards Blacksburg a week after the arrival of Florence. Temperatures were unable to get out of the low 60s thanks to the overcast that buried the region. Despite all those clouds, there was only a splash of rain, which was great, given how little the area actually needs. Forecast.io was the only outlet not to have rain on both days, and they did indeed stay dry on Monday, just like those robots said they would. As a result, Forecast.io was the winner.
Actuals: Sunday – .06 inches of rain, High 63, Low 59
Monday – High 62, Low 52

Grade: B-C

Not-umn

It’s been pleasantly cool across the northern portion for the country, at least for the last few days, so it’s a bit unusual to look at a forecast for a place like Joplin from the beginning of last week and see temperatures still pinging the low 90s. Victoria-Weather stayed close to the NAM, which had a warmer solution, and that paid off, giving us a narrow victory, in a sweaty SW Missouri. :
Actuals: Monday-  High 91, low 64
Tuesday – High 93, low 69

Grade: B

Blacksburg, pre-Florence

We have two forecasts in the bag for Blacksburg, including one from about 10 days ago as we awaited the landfall of Florence. The thought was that the lingering shower activity in the area would erode and give way to a nice beautiful day before things turned south. Well, that didn’t happen. Rain never cleared out, and showers lingered from last Friday to last Saturday. Not only did that throw precipitation forecasts out of alignment, but the extra clouds also through the temperature forecasts off. In the end, it was Weatherbug who had the top temperature forecast, thanks to their cool bias, but also because they nailed that precip.
Actuals: Friday the 14th, .14 inches of rain, High 75, Low 68
Saturday the 15th, .41 inches of rain, High 70, Low 66

Grade: B-F

A valley floor

Forecasting for the intermountain west should be challenging, and last week, our look at Ogden was indeed a bit rough around the edges. The high temperature forecast was spot on, and there was no rain, as we all expected, but those low temperatures. Sheesh. Those lows ended up at least 10 degrees under the forecast, and that was true for every one of our forecasting outlets, for both days of the forecast period. Sorry, Utah. Weatherbug had the top forecast, for whatever that’s worth.
Actuals Tuesday the 11th, High 86, Low 48

Wednesday the 12th High 80, Low 47

Grade D

Gordon comes Grazing

As we sit around watching the destruction of Florence in and around Wilmington, we can think back to last week when it was Gordon we were worried with. He traveled up towards the Great Lakes, and is now a floating mass of detritus in eastern Canada. Before it got to that point, there had been a chance that the feature would bring a little bit of rain to Knoxville, and it sure did. It brought a very little bit of rain to Knoxville. The mountains deflected wet inflow, for the most part, and they stayed dry until a tail extending from the storm brought a little bit of moisture to Rocky Top. There was a 4 way tie atop the leaderboard that would have been undone by Forecast.io, had they had any rain at all in the forecast. 
Actuals: Saturday – High 89, low 71
Sunday – .01 inches of rain, High 89, Low 71

Grade: B