Category Archives: Verification

Knowing the territory

The weather in Visalia was not expected to cause any issues, either for the forecasters investigating the city, nor for residents of Visalia, who enjoyed sun and highs in the low 70s. The top forecast, with only one degree of error, belonged to the NWS, which seemed to have some advantages in being the only outlet that forecasts for Visalia all the time. West Coast forecasts are all about familiarity.
Actuals: Sunday – High 73, Low 48
Monday – High 73, Low 50

Grade: A-C

Rains ruin a weekend

It was raining last Thursday when we started looking at Lancaster for our end of the week forecast. There was a splash of drizzle on Friday, but that didn’t foretell of a quiet day on Saturday, Saturday was drowned out by .83 inches of rain, and it didn’t even clear out for Sunday. I hope local Mothers’ Day activities were at least in gazebos instead of on the deck. The NWS had a great forecast, so there was plenty of time to plan if anyone listened to them.
Actuals:  Friday – .02 inches of rain, High 60, Low 51
Saturday – .83 inches of rain, High 55, Low 48

Grade: A-B

Great Expectations

With a system passing just south of the Fargo area during the middle week, there was great anticipation for a momentous warm up across the area when it departed. Temperatures proceeded to plummet overnight into Wednesday morning as clear skies and a bit of a cooler flow filtered into the region. That was the fatal flaw in the forecast. The high on Wednesday didn’t recover to match the expected highs, ensuring that there wasn’t a really good forecast to be had. I’m not going to say everything was all bad from a forecasting standpoint, however, as meteorologists and the weather recovered nicely, with a high of 70. WeatherNation was solid on Thursday, and ultimately had the privilege of claiming victory for the whole day.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 63, Low 41
Wednesday – High 70, Low 43

Grade: C-D

Steady As She Goes

A hot, dry forecast was in the books for Brownsville, and it didn’t disappoint. It was a bit cloudier in the mornings than expected, but that didn’t stop temperatures from hitting the 90s both days. Temperatures were very even across both days, which I’m sure made it easy for people to plan how to go about their days. Accuweather edged out the victory.

Wednesday: High 90, Low 77.
Thursday: High 91, Low 78.
Forecast Grade: A-B

Beachworthy

There aren’t any beaches to speak of in Bremerton. Shoreline, definitely, but probably not anything you would traditionally call a beach. The weather was nice enough that if there were beaches, many Seattle area residents would have been at them on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ahead of a spit of rain coming from the Gulf of Alaska, temperatures were near 70 with mostly sunny skies during the day. Rain inched in just before Wednesday turned to Thursday, which was earlier than expected, throwing off everyone’s forecast. Accuweather was the best around, and earned victory.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 71, Low 41
Wednesday – Rain reported, not measured, High 69, Low 46

Grade C-D

A smattering of showers and good forecasts

The forecast in Blacksburg was a tale of two seasons. First, there was the threat for frost on Monday morning, though it was not realized and temperatures only dipped to 38. Tuesday brought a slow moving warm front with rain falling through the day, though only a quarter inch fell in town. And the warm front had to wait to bring it’s raised temperatures, as the clouds brought cooler highs than they saw on Monday. The warmer Monday lows, an the dreary Tuesday were good news for a handful of outlets. Victoria-Weather was steady across the board, Accuweather slipped on the Tuesday high, while Forecast.io stumbled with Tuesday’s low. All three drew level atop the leaderboard for the day.
Actuals: Monday – High 62, Low 38
Tuesday – .25 inches of rain, High 56, Low 39

Grade: B-C

A desert freeze

Not all deserts are hot. That’s one thing that you learn early on in meteorology school. A desert is simply an area that doesn’t get a lot of precipitation. Antarctica is a desert. Northern Arizona is at a much higher elevation than the sweltering heat of Phoenix, but they too are in a desert. Flagstaff, for example, saw no rain on the 3rd and 4th of this month, and in fact, temperatures dipped below freezing on the morning of the 2nd (last Tuesday). Still a desert! Accuweather stepped up and had the top forecast for Flagstaff.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 72, Low 30
Wednesday – High 72, Low 35

Grade: B-D

Right in our Wheel-ing house

Mere hours after we announced that Victoria-Weather was the forecaster of the month, we also get to do a verification for Wheeling, which we forecast for last weekend as a heat wave gripped the Upper Ohio Valley. The warm up seemed due to end, however, as a cold front rolled through town, bringing showers and storms on Sunday and Monday, dropping a considerable amount of rain, and steadily dragging temperatures down on Monday. Fortunately for Wheeling, they were far enough south that they didn’t have to worry about snow, like they saw in the Northern Plains as a result of this system. Fortunately for Victoria-Weather and Forecast.io, the weather behaved enough that we compromised on a victory (F.io was warmer on highs and V-W was cooler on lows, which both ended up being right.)
Actuals: Sunday – .17 inches of rain, High 86, Low 57
Monday – .54 inches of rain, High 80, Low 54

Grade: C-D

Spring really wants to come to Burlington

i’ve been caught up in other things recently, so this forecast for Burlington came nearly two weeks ago. Oops. The weather was on the upswing in Vermont at the time of the forecast, with an area of low pressure moving along the coast at the leading edge of a broader area of warm high pressure. Temperatures actually exceeded expectation on both Wednesday (the 26th!) and Thursday, hitting the 70s on Wednesday and nearly hitting 80 on Thursday. The National Weather Service claimed the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Wednesday – .16 inches of rain High 73, Low 50
Thursday – High 79, Low 52

Grade: C-D

The City that Never Sees the Sun

New York City is usually the City that Never Sleeps, but if they were going to sleep well at any point, it was likely Tuesday and Wednesday last week. Clouds and a blustery rain fell through the 48 hour period, with heavier rain coming on Tuesday as an area of low pressure slid up the Eastern Seaboard. It was chilly and dreary and despite all that there is to do in the Big Apple, the best thing to do was hide inside under blankets. Victoria-Weather collected the top forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday – .91 inches of rain, High 54, Low 49
Wednesady – .34 inches of rain, High 60, Low 53

Grade: A-B