A strong start to the new year

The strong start in reference is definitely not a reference to the January posting consistency, but rather how well the National Weather Service handled a challenging forecast in Trenton to start the year. The first round of wet weather of the year slid up the east coast and brought a bit of early morning rain and eventually plummeting temperatures. The NWS threaded this treacherous needle getting only 1 degree of error, and having a proper temperature forecast. A solid start to the new year.
Actuals: January 2nd, .07 inches of rain, High 59, Low 35
January 3rd, High 34, Low 21

Grade: A- C

The last look of the year

Just before we rolled into 2022, I put together a forecast for Erie, which turned out to be quite sodden. Sure, it was unusually warm for northeastern Pennsylvania as the new year arrived, but a cold front an a system coming out of the Ohio Valley conspired to make sure the warmth was wasted, and it rained for most of the first two days of the year. Temperatures continued to drop through the first two days of the year, and while it was in the mid-50s on New Years Day, it was merely 22 on the 2nd. This forecast, since it started on the 31st counts as the last of 2021, and gets awarded to Weatherbug. Fitting, given how many forecasts they won this year.
Actuals: Jan 1st, .48″ of rain, High 54, Low 37
Jan 2nd, .15″ of rain, High 37, Low 22

Grade: B-D

A very merry forecast

On Christmas Eve, while all the children were snug in their beds with sugar plums dancing in their heads, we were stirring with a forecast for Sebastian, Florida. It made me pine for the years I spend in Florida, as highs were near 80 on Christmas and the day after, with barely a cloud in the sky. With the way this month has gone, it nearly rates as a Christmas miracle, but Victoria-Weather had the top forecast for Sebastian.
Actuals: Saturday (Christmas), High 80, Low 53
Sunday – High 78, Low 53

Grade: A-C

Winter blows in

The beginning and middle of the month of December were rough, to say the least. The second major system featuring severe weather started in the northern Plains, and reached the Great Lakes by our December 16th forecast time in Grand Rapids. There was a gust of nearly 60mph, even outside any precipitation on Thursday the 16th. Temperatures, which started in the low 60s on Thursday were ready for a decline, dropping 35 degrees for Friday. Even though the weather was bad, forecasts were generally good. The Weather Channel had the best temperature forecast, but Forecast.io drew level as they were one of only two not to have rain in the forecast.
Actuals, Wednesday December 16th, High 63, Low 35
Thursday, December 17th, High 38, Low 28

Grade: A-C

Missing the drop

The same system that brought such devastating weather to the Ohio Valley was also responsible for putting a chill in the mid-Atlantic. When we forecast for Lynchburg almost two weeks ago, nobody anticipated the plummeting temperatures on the evening of December 12th. We all more or less suspected a non-standard day, but not THIS non-standard. It was 27 degrees by the time the 12th turned to the 13th, and forecasts busted across the board. The fast arriving front also prevented record highs on Saturday, which was against the grain for some outlets as well. Forecast.io ended up collecting the wind, mitigating their losses with a cooler forecast.
Actuals: Saturday, December 12th: .28 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 66, Low 49
Sunday, December 13th, High 50, Low 27

Grade: C-D

No floor

The morning lows in Asheville last week were out of control. After a couple of clearer than expected evenings, the low temperature dropped well beyond expectations, especially on Saturday, where the morning chill was in the mid-30s. Rain never came to the North Carolina town, and Forecast.io, was the only dry forecast in the house, securing victory for the day.
Actuals: Sunday, Dec 5th, High 55, Low 37
Monday, Dec 6th, High 63, Low 38

Grade: C-D

The Prize

Many of the nation’s top weather institutions are in Norman, outside of the city of Oklahoma City. The Storm Prediction Center, National Severe Storms Laboratory and the University of Oklahoma, one of the best schools for meteorology in the world all call Norman home. Most meteorologists I know have, at some point, passed through the area. This is a forecast that strikes to the heart of meteorology, and an extra pat on the back for the winners for the day, Weatherbug (not headquartered in Oklahoma City, by the way). The verification was quite remarkable, in it’s own way. The Saturday high was lower than all forecasts, while the low was at the top end of forecasts. On Sunday, the reverse was true, with a warmer high than anyone called for, and a colder low. Still and all, a decent enough forecast, and we have not embarrassed ourselves on these hallowed grounds.
Actuals: Saturday – High 56, Low 48
Sunday – High 75, Low 43

Grade: B-C

Back on track

The verification for Kennewick sure was humbling. It wasn’t the case in San Antonio, however, as departing clouds and a little bit of exiting drizzle left the city with mild, almost cool conditions for a couple of days… just like we expected. Temperatures were a hair lower than what was in the forecast, but the high of 71 both Sunday and Monday was pretty close to what we all expected. The Weather Channel and Accuweather claimed a shared victory.
Actuals: Sunday – High 71, Low 43
Monday – High 71, Low 40

Grade: B-C

Nice Job, Good Game, Better Luck Next Time

Was our forecast for Kennewick the worst we have ever done? No, I wouldn’t say that. This is a solid D effort all around, and consistently so, across the board. D- though. Ahead of a cold front, upslope flow socked Kennewick in last Monday, keeping temperatures nestled in the mid to upper 30s, with nary a chance to escape. Then, when the front came, to the shock of all participants, the moisture did “traverse the Cascades” and brought a little bit of light rain to the area. When the cloud cover cleared, and the sun came out on Tuesday, all while the upslope turned to downslope, temperatures were even allowed to leap all the way into the mid 50s, which is not what anyone had in mind. The top forecast was issued by the trio of The Weather Channel, Weatherbug and Forecast.io, but everyone was within 2 points of one another. That isn’t a good thing.
Actuals: Monday – High 38, Low 36
Tuesday 06 inches of rain, High 55, Low 31

Grade: D

Chilly mornings in Weirton

It seems like a trend of late, where we keep getting these forecasts that bust because morning lows are cooler than expected. This is what happened in Weirton as well on Thursday and Friday, with morning lows settling in about 5 degrees cooler than expected. The rain that the city saw wasn’t a hang up, and the high temperatures were pretty well in line, but those pesky lows…. Ultimately, the rain was a hang up for Weathernation, who lost out on the top spot because they didn’t have it for Friday, but Accuweather and the National Weather Service did, and were able to overtake WeatherNation to secure a victory.
Actuals: Thursday – .1″ of rain, High 72, Low 39
Friday – .16″ of rain, High 56, Low 40

Grade: C-D