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  1. #1
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    How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    The New York Times reported on rather interesting study concerning the accuracy of weather forecasting at Kansas City City weather stations. The study was conducted over 220 days, from April 22 to November 21, 2007. The seven-day forecasts for both high temperature and P.O.P. (probability of precipitation) for each station’s 10 p.m. telecast and from the N.O.A.A. web site were recorded. For stations that did not offer a P.O.P. in the form of percent likelihood, the best impression of percent likelihood that could be inferred from the meteorologists’ words and graphics were used. The results of Kansas City’s high temperature and rainfall as reported at the K.C.I. airport weather station — which are the data that become the official record for weather at Kansas City — were also recorded. Those results were then compared to the high temperature and P.O.P. predictions to determine forecasting accuracy for each source for each of the seven days predicted.

    The results were quite enlightening, as were some of the comments of the local meteorologists and their station managers. Here a few of the quotes that were received:

    “We have no idea what’s going to happen [in the weather] beyond three days out.”

    “There’s not an evaluation of accuracy in hiring meteorologists. Presentation takes precedence over accuracy.”

    “All that viewers care about is the next day. Accuracy is not a big deal to viewers.”

    For those that are interested in the findings click on the following link:

    How Valid Are T.V. Weather Forecasts? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Beyond 3 days is pushing it. They have a hard time guess what it will do in 6 hrs at times. I care about accuracy its hard to plan things when they tell you one forcast one day and another the next. It seems all they do is look at the national weather service's forcast and change it a tiny bit and use their forecast. They cannot predict more than 3 days accurate but they can predict the effects of global warming, interesting.


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcy View Post
    They cannot predict more than 3 days accurate but they can predict the effects of global warming, interesting.
    Just picture your three day forecast extrapolated out to the next 100 years, and you can guess at the accuracy of that.



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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Very interesting read, thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcy View Post
    They cannot predict more than 3 days accurate but they can predict the effects of global warming, interesting.
    Rep to you. Also, we have only a hundred years or so of temperature data. Using 100 years of data when the Earth is billions of years old to predict global warming is like predicting the outcome of a football game after watching 1 second of it.



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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    Very interesting read, thanks for that.



    Rep to you. Also, we have only a hundred years or so of temperature data. Using 100 years of data when the Earth is billions of years old to predict global warming is like predicting the outcome of a football game after watching 1 second of it.
    I thought the earth was only 6000 years old.


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by CloneAggie View Post
    I thought the earth was only 6000 years old.
    Who told you that? Not me...



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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Using 100 years of data when the Earth is billions of years old to predict global warming is like predicting the outcome of a football game after watching 1 second of it.
    It took about 7 seconds to figure out how the Texas game was going to end last year, that's close right?

    Do weather people get evaluated on how accurate their forcasts are, as far as job security? Or is it mostly all tv ratings and whatnot?


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    If you are a bit of a weather guru wannabe like I am, you will enjoy reding the National Weather Services forecast discussion for Iowa found here. There is some technical terminology and shorthand that makes it trickty to follow sometimes but there is a glossary available to help. Here is an exerpt form this morning's discussion which emphasises just how difficult it is to predict more than three days out.

    "MODELS ARE IN AGREEMENT REGARDING A STRONG WEATHER SYSTEM TO IMPACT
    THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL U.S. EARLY NEXT WEEK. MODELS OFFER VASTLY
    DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS THOUGH...SO ACTUAL LOCATION OF WEATHER FEATURES
    IS UNCLEAR. FOR EXAMPLE...THE ECMWF SOLUTION WOULD SUGGEST
    SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES TO AFFECT OUR CWA. ON THE OTHER HAND...THE
    GFS SOLUTION WOULD SUGGEST A THREAT OF HEAVY RAINFALL. LATER SHIFTS
    WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE MONITORING SUBSEQUENT MODEL SOLUTIONS FOR MORE
    CONSISTENT SIGNALS."

    So it looks like we are either getting a snowstorm or thunderstorms next week ?!?!?

    Notes: GFS and ECMWF are computer models. CWA is "county warning area" or the area covered by the Des Moines office.

    Edit: This quote actually came from the Quad Cites weather office not Des Moines.

    State Data - NOAA's National Weather Service


    Last edited by c.y.c.l.o.n.e.s; 04-22-2008 at 08:59 AM.

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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    Who told you that? Not me...
    Duh, it's in the Bible.


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    Quote Originally Posted by joefrog
    I will admit, I am to blame in sometimes making mountains out of molehills.

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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by c.y.c.l.o.n.e.s View Post
    If you are a bit of a weather guru wannabe like I am, you will enjoy reding the National Weather Services forecast discussion for Iowa found here. There is some technical terminology and shorthand that makes it trickty to follow sometimes but there is a glossary available to help. Here is an exerpt form this morning's discussion which emphasises just how difficult it is to predict more than three days out.

    "MODELS ARE IN AGREEMENT REGARDING A STRONG WEATHER SYSTEM TO IMPACT
    THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL U.S. EARLY NEXT WEEK. MODELS OFFER VASTLY
    DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS THOUGH...SO ACTUAL LOCATION OF WEATHER FEATURES
    IS UNCLEAR. FOR EXAMPLE...THE ECMWF SOLUTION WOULD SUGGEST
    SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES TO AFFECT OUR CWA. ON THE OTHER HAND...THE
    GFS SOLUTION WOULD SUGGEST A THREAT OF HEAVY RAINFALL. LATER SHIFTS
    WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE MONITORING SUBSEQUENT MODEL SOLUTIONS FOR MORE
    CONSISTENT SIGNALS."

    So it looks like we are either getting a snowstorm or thunderstorms next week ?!?!?

    Notes: GFS and ECMWF are computer models. CWA is "county warning area" or the area covered by the Des Moines office.

    State Data - NOAA's National Weather Service
    It appears that Alan Greenspan is now a spokesperson for the NWS.


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmoneyr View Post
    Duh, it's in the Bible.
    Back then, they probably did think the Earth was relatively young...they didn't have 1/1000 of the tools we have now. It took until the 1400s to disprove that the Earth was flat.



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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    Who told you that? Not me...
    That figure has been thrown around by some, whether on here or not. Never said it was you.


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    Very interesting read, thanks for that.



    Rep to you. Also, we have only a hundred years or so of temperature data. Using 100 years of data when the Earth is billions of years old to predict global warming is like predicting the outcome of a football game after watching 1 second of it.
    Predicting the day-to-day temperature is far different than determining what the average temperature is over a long period of time.


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    Very interesting read, thanks for that.



    Rep to you. Also, we have only a hundred years or so of temperature data. Using 100 years of data when the Earth is billions of years old to predict global warming is like predicting the outcome of a football game after watching 1 second of it.
    Our Climate Numbers Are a Big Old Mess - WSJ.com


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    Re: How valid are TV weather forecasts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    they didn't have 1/1000 of the tools we have now.
    That includes people right?



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