Category Archives: Verification

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

Lower Michigan, upper 80s

We looked at Jackson, Michigan way back last week, in the midst of their early June heat wave. Temperatures weren’t cooling off, at least not through the beginning of the week last week, as they continued to reach the upper 80s to low 90s, all as a warm front remained parked to the northwest, unwilling to move on so relief would find its way in. Forecasters generally knew how stubborn this boundary would be, and the results were pretty good. They were the best for WeatherNation, who had the victory.
Actuals: Sunday – High 89, Low 69
Monday – High 90, Low 68

Everyone wins!

To end the week, the weather in New Orleans was immaculate: not a cloud to be seen, while temperatures only climbed to the mid 80s, which is very comfortable for this time of year down in the Bayous. So the residents of New Orleans were big winners, but so were the forecasters. There was a 5 way tie atop the leaderboard, leaving only the NWS and FIO out of the spoils. A cool morning low on Friday was a big enough hiccup that despite the tranquility, this tie wasn’t because everyone had an excellent showing.
Actuals: Thursday – High 84, Low 73
Friday – High 84, Low 64

Grade: C

Weather Wayback… A flurry of activity

It seems crazy to think that it was just three months ago that we were talking about snow in our forecasts, but that was just the case on March 13th in Terre Haute, Indiana. There was just a flurry in Terre Haute, but that’s still pretty late in the year, especially in southern Indiana. Most of our outlets weren’t fooled back when we issued the forecast, however, with 6/7 calling for the flurries. It was a result of a massive system moving up the coast, prepared to bring some significant weather to the Mid-Atlantic coast, and even on the periphery, nearly everyone was on point. If I recall, the forecast was a little overwrought in the big cities, but at least there was success in Terre Haute. WeatherNation won this March forecast, and did so with panache.
Actuals: March 13th – Trace of snow, High 33, Low 21
March 14th – High 34, Low 18

Grade: A-C

When Perfection Finishes Second

Outside of maaaaybe a shot of a rain shower in Philly, the weather seemed to be pretty good for midweek. That slight chance of a shower though was enough to alter the standings. Even though the NWS had a PERFECT temperature forecast (hooray!), their chances of showers on both days was enough to bring them down to 2nd place, as WN won with their dry forecast.

Wednesday: High 67, Low 54.
Thursday: High 72, Low 54.
Forecast Grade: A

Workplace productivity on the rise

The worst thing about summer is that it’s really hard to stay at the office, working. The sun is out, the kids are out of school and your entire body screams for the outdoors. I am happy to report that this week in New Haven, that was not the case! It was cool and cloudy as a dual low passed off the coast and through New England. The good news was, it wasn’t as rainy as forecasts had envisioned, but it was just as miserable. Great days to be at work. Your boss savored it, I’m sure.
Tuesday – .02 inches in rain, High 55, Low 51
Wednedsay – High 69, Low 50

Grade: B-C

Home Court

We had a forecast for Minneapolis towards the end of the week last week. This was good, it seems like we get way more forecasts for State College than anywhere else, meaning Accuweather gets to forecast for their home turf, and the rest of us are always looking at locations well away from our homeland. Victoria-Weather wasn’t going to let anyone beat us at home, and indeed, we played up our Minnesota pessimism and earned a victory by having the coolest temperatures of any major outlet. There were 90 degree temperatures in parts of the Twin Cities, but not at Crystal Airport, which is closest to Minneapolis’ City limits. Not to toot our own horn, but we were actually going to leave the threat of rain out of the forecast on Friday, which would only have led to a greater victory. We won regardless (tied with the other locals, the Weather Service), so I guess I can let it go.
Actuals: Friday – High 89, Low 48
Saturday -Thunderstorms reported, not measured, High 87, Low 66

Grade: B-C

Napa nicer, wetter

Wine country would have been a good place to be for a visit as May departed and June arrived. Save for a spot of light rain in Napa on Wednesday Morning, skies were sunny and temperatures reached the warmer estimations of forecasters in the region. The Weather Channel, who did not break the cardinal sin of missing out on light rain in California ended up securing an easy victory. If only there was a beverage to toast them with.
Actuals: Wednesday – Trace of light rain, High 79, Low 54
Thursday – High 81, Low 48

Grade: B-D

A verification first: Tornado!

I posted recently about the tornado that dropped just to the east of Dayton, Ohio,  and drifted north of the city, bringing down some power lines and trees throughout the region. Well, as I reviewed the verification numbers for our forecast last week, I saw that Wright Air Force Base near Dayton actually reported the twister as it crossed the airport grounds on Wednesday. The verification took place at Dayton’s commercial airport, which had slightly different temperature figures, but did not report any funnels of any sort. It also informed us that Forecast.io and The Weather Channel drew level in claiming the top forecast for Dayton.
Actuals: Wednesday – .92 inches of rain/thunderstorms (no tornadoes!): High 7-0, Low 58
Thursday – .04 inches of rain, High 70, Low 58

Grade: B-C