Cold fronts in Florida – No Joke

There was a nasty storm system that battered the country late last week and into the weekend. This verification isn’t about that system. It’s about the weaker wave that moved through just as 2020 came into being. We were looking at Deltona, Florida for our first forecast of the year. A cold front was forecast to sweep into the region, though it wasn’t expected to carry a lot of rain or severe weather with it, if you were to judge by what the models suggested. When cold fronts move through Florida, they have ready access to a healthy supply of moisture, and as the cold air blows in, it is enencumbered by frictional drag, and winds can howl, even in weaker systems. They are a real pain in the butt. This time, when the front moved through, the Deltona area saw 45mph gusts around lunch on the 4th, and nearly half an inch of rain. Victoria-Weather, which has a lot of recent experience with the Sunshine State, started 2020 off with a victory.
Actuals: January 3rd – High 83, Low 63
january 4th – .41 inches of rain, High 79, Low 59

Grade: B-C

Finishing strong

I know you’ve been waiting a long time for this verification, as the forecast was issued in December 9th, but that’s just the type of thing the holidays do to you. I’m happy to report good news from Punta Gorda, though. Victoria-Weather ended up getting the top forecast in southwest Florida, which will go down as a victory in my last forecast of the year. Hooray!
Actuals: December 10th – High 83, low 60
December 11th – Trace of rain, High 85, low 65

Grade: B-C

Surprisingly dry

I think a lot of people would look at the recent weather in Miami and would easily note the temperatures, which were cooler than one would stereotypically expect from Miami. The thing that struck me, however, was how low the dew points were. Residents accustomed to Miami’s climate probably needed to bust out the moisturizer as dew points dipped all the way into the low 40s. Accuweather had the best temperature forecast, and for our purposes, had the best forecast of the day.
Actuals: Tbursday, High 72, Low 59
Friday – High 78, Low 61

Grade: B-C

Not so bad

I am impressed. The forecast for Jackson was locked and loaded to be very difficult. A massive blob of uncomfortable low pressure moving through the Great Lakes was going to manipulate precipitation types and drive temperatures steadily downward… except for when there was an intrusion of warm air as the low passed by on Saturday. It was a recipe for a difficult forecast, and by jove, this forecast was knocked out of the park. Weatherbug, in fact, only had 1 degree of error in their entire forecast. the only real loser was the city of Jackson, who had to deal with the rain, thunderstorm and snow chaser.
Actuals: Sunday – .64 inches of rain, High 42, Low 34
Monday – Snow reported, not measured, High 34, Low 28

Grade: A – B

Onshore and off the pace

The cold front that roiled the afternoon in the southeastern US yesterday induced a southeasterly, onshore flow over the eastern coast of Florida. Palm Bay’s Saturday forecast proved to be a hair too warm across the board because of the cool onshore breezes. Lingering moisture kept the overnight lows from dropping off too much either. The end result of these curious happenstances was a forecast win for WeatherBug, who seem to know something we don’t this month.
Actuals: Friday, High 76, Low 56
Saturday High 76, Low 63

Grade B-C

Lost in a fog

Forecasts for Decatur were generally not too bad, save for one nasty verifying period: Wednesday morning. Even if they didn’t explicitly say they were expecting fog in their forecast (erm, I guess that was only me) it was still in the back of our minds. Decatur did see visibilities drop to a quarter of a mile in the morning, and despite that, temperatures continued to drop, all the way to 26. The 3 coolest morning lows all collected the three top forecasts, with The Weather Channel and Forecast.io earning victory. The temperature tracking surrounding the occluded front on Thursday surprisingly didn’t play into the victory totals at all.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 51, low 26
Thursday – .24 inches of rain, High 58, low 40

Grade: B-C

Dodging Bullets in Winchester

Some light rain showers were found in the Winchester area on late Monday evening. But luckily, for the residents however, the city avoided the rain and stayed dry through the forecast period. Temperatures warmed nicely for Tuesday as expected, though Monday’s highs never quite got as high as anybody wanted. Weatherbug narrowly edged out the competition for the win

Monday: High 39, Low 34.
Tuesday: High 50, Low 35.
Forecast Grade: C

A bit cooler a bit north

Sebastian and Vero Beach aren’t far from each other, but they were far enough apart that they had some distance in their highs on Monday. Whereas the high in Vero Beach was in the low 80s, it only hit the high 70s in Sebastian. Why? It probably has to do with the location of the local geography. The barrier islands are broader near Vero Beach, and the Sebastian airport sits near a river, all meaning that the influence of water has a better chance of tempering changes to temperature in Sebastian. Just a theory. In any eventr, The NWS and WeatherNation tied for the top forecast.
Actuals: Sunday, High 79, Low 63
Monday- High 78, Low 66

Grade B-C

Bounce back

Bowling Green was in the clutches of our first dose of Arctic air when we visited on Friday, but the weekend provided respite. High temperatures surged into the 60s on Sunday, touching a total that was even warmer than forecasts indicated. Of course, this week it’s all coming back down again, but for the days that counted, Bowling Green was able to enjoy the balmy conditions. The atypically warm Weatherbug had the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Saturday – High 52, Low 25
Sunday – High 66, Low 39

Grade: B-C

Clouds come close

It doesn’t happen often in the Front Range, and a city like Cheyenne, but it did early this week. The models did really well with the temperature forecasts, and forecasts were generally pretty good. If there was one thing that everyone got wrong, it was the clouds southeast Wyoming saw overnight. On the back of a strong upper level jet, layers of clouds developed, abutting the higher terrain and trapping warmer air overnight, leading to low temperatures that were warmer than forecast lows both on Monday and Tuesday. Weatherbug was undeterred, and collected the best forecast.
Actuals: Monday – High 42, Low 32
Tuesday – High 54, Low 31

Grade: B-D