Way off the mark

Last weekend, a system moved through the Great Lakes and eventually spiraled through the mid-Atlantic with a copious amount of rain falling around New York over the weekend. But we are here to talk about Columbus. In my forecast I noted that I thought Friday would be on the overcast side, and little did I know how thick those clouds would be. Temperatures were forecast to hit the low 60s on Friday, and they didn’t even get out of the mid-40s. I did say it would be warmer, and it was only 42 on Thursday! Ugh. There was a three way tie between The Weather Channel, Weather Service and Weathernation.
Actuals: Thursday – High 41, Low 23
Friday – .19 inches of rain, High 45, Low 29

Grade C-D

On the periphery

I wrote a couple days ago about the severe weather outbreak in the middle of the country last week. It occurred just to the south of of our forecast site in Davenport. There wasn’t quite the same level of impact as Iowa as there was at points to the south, but there was certainly some impact. Thunderstorms started on Wednesday night and kept rolling through Thursday, bringing 2/3″ of rain throughout the two days of the forecast. It brought about a cool down as well, reminding all of us that, even though there were thunderstorms and 70s, it’s still only March. Victoria-Weather got the victory, edging ahead because of a splash of rain falling before midnight on Wednesday.
Actuals: Wednesday – .01″ of rain, High 71, Low 41
Thursday: .66″ of rain, High 55, Low 45

Grade: C-D

March melt down

Last week was a warm one. It stood out in a summer of record heat across the world, and particularly in the Great Lakes region. Fond du Lac, our forecast city on Monday night, saw temperatures launch all the way into the low 70s on Tuesday, which even exceeded the expectations of our forecast outlets. Naturally, warmer forecasts had better scores, but curiously, the clouds were clear enough to allow for chilly overnight lows. As has often been the case this year, it was The Weather Channel who collected the top forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday High 71, Low 42
Wednesday – High 67, Low 31

Grade: C-F

One last chill before spring

It sure seemed like the cold air that trailed last weekend’s winter storm is a last gasp of the winter, given how warm it is going to be this week. Peoria even had the dignity to be colder than forecasts originally indicated by a handful of degrees. One outlet pegged the high temperature forecast on both days, thanks to a cooler numbers than most of the other outlets (except Weatherbug, of course). That top forecaster was The Weather Channel.
Actuals: Saturday – High 45, Low 33
Sunday – High 49, Low 30

Grade: A – C

Should have trusted my gut

I noted in my forecast that I admired the outlets that were leaving rain out of the forecast in Huntsville for Monday. I thought what was showing up in the model guidance was just an overzealous interpretation of the increasing clouds in the area ahead of a cold front and vorticity maximum along the Gulf Coast. I also (this time correctly) suspected that this vort max would reduce overall rainfall in Huntsville, drawing it all into the center of circulation. I should have trusted myself on both accounts, because it didn’t rain a drop on Monday. Not that getting it correct would have helped. Clime ended up winning this one.
Actuals: Monday – High 74, Low 54
Tuesday .07 inches of rain, High 64, Low 58

Grade: B-C

In like a Lion

Birmingham was getting ready for a line of thunderstorms as we put our forecast together last Wednesday. After the line went through, temperatures were cooler and it was dry to end February. Things took a turn on Friday, when the next round of wet weather moved into town. This round brought about .8″ of rain, a not insignificant amount, and certainly a bad sign for the weekend. If one believes in omens, this must also mean that the month of March will be out like a lamb in Birmingham, so that’s a good sign, right? Victoria-Weather easily won the forecast.
Actuals: Thursday: High 50, Low 37
Friday: .81″ of rain, High 51, Low 45

Grade: A-D

Soggy conditions for NorCal

Our forecast for Merced anticipated yet another round of wet weather coming into the West Coast. Unlike previous iterations of the relentless storms pounding the Pacific Coast this year, the emphasis of this storm was on the Sierra Nevada, where blizzard conditions shut down the region. Still, it was a healthy storm for Merced, where nearly an inch of rain fell in town on Friday. Despite all the headwinds against us as a community of forecast outlets (A large system moving into the west coast, with undulating terrain leading to unique microclimates), the numbers ended up pretty good for everyone, including a three way tie atop the leaderboard, from The Weather Channel, Weather Service and Weatherbug.
Actuals: Thursday – .02 inches of rain, High 66, Low 43
Friday – .97 inches of rain, high 59, Low 52

Grade: A – C

A little of both

There was a little bit of a debate for the forecast for Ocean City. Would the system moving through be quick and usher in colder air? Would it be slow and let some light rain linger into the weekend? Most outlets kind of hedged. The clouds would linger, and the cold air wouldn’t arrive. Instead, there was light precipitation early Saturday morning AND the cold air came in. Victoria-Weather went the cold route along with Weatherbug, while Accuweather was the only outlet that had rain on Saturday’s forecast, and everything worked out to a three way tie, with all others several points off. I should note, this is the one rare site where I do not use an NWS observation point, because the nearest is Atlantic City, another site we might forecast for, so I used the nearest site available from Weatherforyou.com.
Actuals: Friday – .22 inches of rain, High 48, Low 41
Saturday – .07 inches of rain, High 46, Low 30

Grade: B-C

A beautiful bounce back

It’s good to be in San Diego. Just a statement for always, but also specifically now, where last week, weather bounced back pretty nicely after significant rain caused problems for most of Southern California early last week. It continued a trend of flooding rain across the region to start 2024. It wasn’t quite the issue to end last week. After a chilly beginning on Thursday, temperatures started climbing and the sun came out, preventing even wispy morning fog. The Weather Channel turned out the top forecast, narrowly edging their oppoinents.
Actuals: Thursday – High 63, Low 51
Friday – High 73, Low 51

Grade: A- C

Dropping Off

Things sure can change in a week. We looked at Springfield, Massachusetts about this time last week, and it was ensconced in high pressure. This led to a pretty quiet forecast with a broad range of temperatures. Today, weather has rolled in, and many parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic are seeing significant snowfall, and in some placed, seeing it for the first time in a while. The biggest hang up in the forecast was that dynamic change in temperatures, especially at night. Clouds never really played a factor, and the morning low on both Wednesday and Thursday fell below expectations. Clime had a good day, however, and was rewarded with the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 44, Low 19
Thursday – High 50, Low 22

Grade: C-D