Category Archives: Verification

Cold weather with a hot start

January 1st, we decided to take on the forecast for  Johnson City, in far eastern Tennessee. They were going to miss out on the bonanza being seen along the east coast, but they did get to enjoy the Arctic air on the back side. In fact, temperatures were in single digits both on Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s really unpleasant, especially in that part of the world! On the other hand, this forecast worked out quite well for Victoria-Weather and Weatherbug, who registered top class forecasts for the very beginning of the new year.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 28, Low 3
Wednesday – High 32, Low 8

Grade: A-C

Beginning the year with a glaze

Our year end forecast for Fort Smith called for a dreary weekend for Fort Smith, and we were not disappointed. Perhaps other outlets, or residents of Fort Smith were, but not Victoria-Weather. Temperatures dropped precipitously through the period, and they weren’t that warm to begin with. They started at 41 degrees on Saturday, and by Sunday morning, were as cold as 17 degrees. There was a splash of freezing drizzle and snow on Sunday, which I’m sure residents of Arkansas were extremely enthusiastic about. It wasn’t the storm that they are expecting out east, but for Fort Smith, it was something. Victoria – Weather was able to claim victory for this, the first verification of the year.
Actuals: Saturday – High 41, Low 29
Sunday – .01 inches of precipitation, falling as rain/snow, High 30, Low 17

Grade: A-D

Winter can wait

As the weekend wound to a close, a big swath of rain was moving through the interior parts of Virginia. It seemed like the amount of precipitation was outpacing the models, so I figured I would be a little more pessimistic than what the models had in mind. Well, great news, for Lynchburg, though not as great for Victoria-Weather, the clouds cleared out quickly and the rain ended soon after the forecast was put together. As a result, those that more closely adhered to the guidance were much more successful. Accuweather narrowly earned victory with their warm forecast, that almost matched the actual warmth that Lynchburg enjoyed.
Actuals: Monday – High 61, Low 30
Tuesday – High 65, Low 34

Grade: C-D

Lake effects

When forecasting for Pittsburgh one needs to take into account the hilly terrain, Lake Erie to the northwest, and a latitude that opens the town up  to all manner of climates. That in mind, one must paint the forecast in broad strokes, and hope for the best. Broadly, there were light snow showers and it was generally cool, but not cold, and mostly cloudy. Specifically? The temperatures were all over, and nobody got close, and not everyone had the right precipitation forecast. There was a cluster at the top, and Pennsylvania born and bred Accuweather ended up with the top forecast.
Actuals: Friday – Trace of snow, High 24, Low 14
Saturday – .2” of snow, High 44, low 29

Grade: C-D

A resurgent weekend

Last weekend, we put together a forecast for Terre Haute that started off a bit snowy and cool, with a rebound scheduled for Sunday. It went off without a hitch. There were a few flakes on Saturday, though nothing that accumulated or caused significant problems for residents of the area, and temperatures bumped all the way back up to the low 40s by the time that Sunday rolled around. Forecasts, for the most part, were good across the board, but Accuweather stands out, because they were almost perfect.
Actuals: Saturday, Trace of snow, High 36, Low 23
Sunday – High 41, Low 18

Grade: A-C

Betrayed by the lows

When a forecast calls for a front to move through town, it seems like the primary issue will revolve around the timing, trying to establish when the high temperature will occur and then extrapolating the plunge in temperature, leading to a messy high and low on back to back days. Not in Baltimore, though! No, the problems revolved exclusively around the low temperatures, both on Wednesday and on Thursday, which were much cooler both the day after the frontal passage, and the day after that! The rain ended late, too, which usually would mean a warmer overnight low on the next day, so you will have to forgive some universally misguided forecasts. The National Weather Service was able to sneak in a victory, however, thanks to a less bad forecast, and also being one of only two outlets to have rain continuing into Wednesday morning.
Actuals: Wednesday – Trace of rain, High 56, Low 37
Thursday – High 49, Low 32

Grade: C-D

Weather Wayback…. Summer in the desert

This is almost like a self inflicted punishment on myself. We’ve just had our first snow of the season in the Twin Cities, and I am sitting in the wayback machine, looking at Bend, Oregon, from the middle of July. It was scorching hot shortly after the 4th of July, with temperatures skying into the mid 90s on the 5th and 6th of July, which was a hair warmer than all forecasters suggested, but The Weather Channel had narrowly secured victory back on this July steamer.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 96, Low 56
Thursday – High 96, Low 60

Grade: B-D

One last shot of warmth

The forecast we put together for Salisbury came in the face of an advancing cold front. It wasn’t expected to do much of anything, thanks to upper level dynamics, but there was a subtle change on Wednesday. The temperature actually went up by a few degrees in the early afternoon on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, thanks to the redirected flow patterns ahead of the boundary. Weatherbug, ironically, was able to secure a victory thanks to a cooler forecast, though this came into play on the forecast low on Wednesday.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 62, Low 29
Wednesday – High 67, Low 36

Grade: B-C

10 hours make all the difference

A cold front moving through New England over the weekend wasn’t really a big news maker, mostly because it didn’t carry with it a great deal of rainfall. It was, of course, the main attraction in our forecast for Manchester over the holiday weekend. Temperatures didn’t play nice for the duration of the forecast period, spiking warmer than expected on Saturday, and on Sunday, the temperature leading into the day was close to 50, rather than 40, as everyone expected. That, in large part, is because the front itself didn’t come through close to midnight, as had been anticipated, but rather closer to noon marked by gusty wind and a splash of drizzle on Sunday. Victoria-Weather had the latest time of the front’s arrival, and as a result, were able to claim victory, tortuous though it was.
Actuals: Saturday – High 58, Low 29
Sunday – Trace of rain, High 49, Low 33

Grade: D-F

Red Friday

OK, so maybe not the most clever of headlines, but I can still report that the temperatures in Madison on Black Friday were very warm, and many people associate the color red with warmth or heat. I stand by this stupid headline. Anyways, the significant warmth played the primary role in the verification, rather than the spot of drizzle only Victoria-Weather correctly called out. Even with a missed temperature forecast, the Weather Service and WeatherNation tied for the top marks.
Actuals: Thursday – High 44, Low 30
Friday – Trace of rain, High 64, Low 33

Grade C-D