How the turntables

Earlier, we posted a verification for Dubuque, in which thunderstorms showed up and surprised some of us. Well, this time around, a handful of outlets called for rain in Roanoke, and it never happened. The lingering moisture prevented low temperatures from cooling off too much, but otherwise, the lack of clouds or rain meant high temperatures were near 90. The warmer forecasts held the day, and Victoria-Weather and The Weather Channel had the exact same forecast, which was the winner today.
Actuals: Friday, High 88, Low 69
Saturday – High 89, Low 67

Grade: A-B

Severely underestimated

We have taken a bit of a hiatus this past week thanks to illness sweeping through the family, but we are back! Speaking of unwanted things sweeping through an area, let’s talk about Dubuque last week. Monday and Tuesday were hot days, and correctly forecast as such, but then, an interesting thing happened on Tuesday. Some outlets had thunderstorms on Tuesday, and some did not. The storms indeed showed up, but those stormy forecasters thought they would be fueled by hotter temperatures, which was not the case. Generally speaking, the best temperature forecasts belonged to those that kept Dubuque dry, but Weatherbug surpassed other outlets by having the best temperature forecast of outlets that forecast rain. It’s fitting that Weatherbug will claim victory, as the storms they successfully forecast for actually produced some severe weather in Eastern Iowa, and 55mph wind gusts in Dubuque.
Actuals: Monday, June 20 – High 91, Low 61
Tuesday – .1 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 95, Low 70

Grade: B-C

Grand Forks dust up

One thing that I have come to notice about the strong area of low pressure that shot north through the Plains and into Canada is that the storm activity has been much higher than anticipated. Oh, and the heat also. It’s been warm! It was the storms that were the story in Grand Forks, however. They were not at all anticipated in any of the forecasts from the various outlets, though everyone thought the passing warm front would introduce some clouds on Saturday. The biggest surprise was that after the storms, albeit isolated, a lot of dust was kicked up in Grand Forks. The afternoon saw 2 mile visibilities thanks to the 35-40mph wind associated with the system (remember how I said it’s always windy there?), which prevented temperatures from getting out of the lower 80s, and busting forecasts across the board. It was a grimy, miserable way to spend the first day of Father’s Day weekend. Accuweather had a narrow victory, hitting on almost everything, but missing on the rain and the Saturday high.
Actuals: Friday, High 82, Low 54
Saturday – Storms reported, not measured, High 83, Low 62

Grade: C-D

Hot and stuffy

Not only was the weather sweltering in Shreveport this week, but it stayed hot overnight, which is the worst. Morning lows of 80 meant that air conditioners were overworked, and forecasts were off, because every outlet predicted cooler temperatures by a handful of degrees. The high temperatures, mercifully, were on the cool end of our forecasts, but that still meant mid to upper 90s. This forecast combo led to a very tight race, and a three way tie at the top, with Victoria-Weather, Accuweather and Forecast.io elevating slightly above.
Actuals: Wednesday, High 96, Low 78
Thursday – High 97, Low 80

Grade: B

A cool spot

On back to back verifications, we’ve had forecasts that overestimated forecast highs. Because of wind off San Pablo Bay, Napa was colder than forecasts expected earlier this week, and now in Johnstown, the forecast highs were also on the lower side. This time thanks to topography and clouds that settled into the valleys surrounding the Alleghenies. The difference between Johnstown and Napa is that two outlets embraced this possibility. Weatherbug took another victory, but Victoria-Weather wasn’t far behind.
Actuals: Friday, High 66, Low 52
Saturday – Rain reported, not measured, High 66, Low 54

Grade B-D

Brisk Bay Breezes bring busts

The mountains and waterways of coastal California can lead to a need for microclimate forecasting. This seemed to be the case in Napa, where, sure, a ridge built in, but the southwest winds off San Pablo Bay, often gusting to 20mph, held sway. High temperatures never crossed into the 80s, despite there not being a single forecast lower than 81 degrees. As is typically the case when things skewed towards the low side, Weatherbug was the top forecaster, and it wasn’t particularly close.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 79, Low 51
Wednesday – High 79, Low 56

Grade: B-C

Downplaying

Never sell the SPC short, I will stay that. In our forecast for Sioux Falls, there were only a couple of mentions of severe weather in the forecast last weekend, from ourselves and Accuweather. Meanwhile, Sioux Falls was included in the severe outlook both Saturday and Sunday, and it verified, or did awfully close to town. Saturday had hail, 2 inches in diameter just outside of town. No rain was actually reported in Sioux Falls, however, reflecting the isolated nature of the storms. Sunday was a soaker, with hail (though not as large) and strong winds around town. The low temperature forecasts were volatile, and the rain on Sunday ensured a colder day than expected, so the forecast didn’t turn out great for anyone. Weathernation sneaked in by accurately avoiding rain on Saturday and having a cool low on Sunday.
Actuals: Saturday – 92, Low 67
Sunday – .61 inches of rain, High 80, Low 61

Grade: C-D

Can’t beat the heat

Nothing is quite like the Texas sun beating down on you. Our forecasts didn’t quite anticipate how hot that sun could get when we forecast for Tyler, a town that looked like it was going to be in the aftermath of a cold front for a couple of days. Warming was anticipated, though not quite to the degree it was actually seen. Temperatures topped 90 on Friday, which is just a little too warm for sane people, and several degrees higher than what forecasts called for. The Weather Channel nabbed the top spot for the day, staying warm throughout their forecast period.
Actuals: Thursday, High 88, Low 58
Friday – High 91, Low 62

Grade: C

Hot flashes

It’s been a cool stretch of rain soaked weather for a lot of the interior part of the country, from the Great Lakes to the Plains. Ah, but how we forget how warm it got at the end of last week. Kokomo saw temperatures that nearly hit 90 on Friday. In a bit of good news, forecasts were fairly competent across the board, leading to a three way tie between Victoria-Weather, Weatherbug and Forecast.io. WeatherNation would have been in good shape, had they not fat fingered the low forecast for Friday.
Actuals: Thursday – High 81, Low 61
Friday – High 88, Low 66

Grade: B-C

Lake Superior ruins a forecast

Strong storms and rain made for a pretty eventful week last week in the north central United States. If eventful doesn’t work for you, then perhaps Duluth is the right town for you. With forecasts in the low 70s on the 13th and showers and storms in the forecast, Lake Superior guffawed and sent low level moisture, fog and clouds into the city. Temperatures didn’t even get out of the 40s. As a result, the warm nights were not seen either, and the low temperature on the 14th, which ultimately did see sun and a return to the 70s, dipped to the 30s when low 50s were expected. It was a completely busted forecast, but Accuweather was the least terrible of a rotten forecast.
Actuals: May 13th – .24 inches of rain, high 48, Low 41
May 14th – High 73, Low 39

Grade: F