Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Foliage (and Precip, Where Art Thou?)

This just in: the Twin Cities is in the midst of quite a dry period. What's your guess as to when the next substantial rainfall will occur? And/or when do you think we'll accumulate an inch of rain over successive precipitation events? And when, pray tell, do you figure the Twin Cities will see the first flakes of snow cascade down from the sky?

Here are a few shots of the emerging fall color that were taken from the Ford Bridge over the Mississippi River, not far from TMF world headquarters. They were also mentioned in the must-read MPR Weather Blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fair Amount of Forecaster Variance for Weekend Temps

Actual weather: The official high temp at MSP for Saturday and Sunday was 85 and 80, respectively. Who was the best forecaster? Tough to say in this case. One conclusion is that most forecasters did not fully note the drop in temp between Saturday and Sunday. 

Friday update: As of Friday evening, KARE (locally) and Accuweather (nationally) continue to be on an island in predicting the coolest weather this weekend.

Will the weekend be quite warm or just pleasantly warm? There was a fair amount of spread among the forecasters as of Thursday evening for the Saturday/Sunday temperatures. Most shocking is that there’s a 7-degree difference in the forecast for Saturday, though it’s just 36 hours from this writing. In general, KARE is on the cool island for this weekend’s forecast while Weather Underground’s BestForecast is a clear outlier for Sunday’s forecast.

WCCO: 84/82 (Th), 84/88 (Fri)

KSTP: 82/82 (Th), 82/84 (Fri)

KMSP: 85/84 (Th), 83/85 (Fri)

KARE: 78/77 (Th), 80/80 (Fri)
Strib: 81/80 (Th), 82/83 (Fri)
NWS: 85/84 (Th), 82/84 (Fri) 83/85 (Th), 84/83 (Fri)
Weather Underground BestForecast: 84/70 (Th), 84/88 (Fri)
Accuweather: 79/78 (Th), 80/78 (Fri)
Intellicast: 84/86 (Th), 85/84 (Fri)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Game, Set and Match: Weather Underground

If you enjoy watching and comparing the various forecasts issued by local and national weather sources, today made for great entertainment. We love it when forecasters separate from the crowd. It gives us something to watch when someone takes a chance.

We began monitoring the forecasts for today last Friday. It was hard not to miss the fact that Weather Underground BestForecast was out on a limb, five degrees higher than any other weather outlet. Comments to a recent post derided Weather Underground's renegade forecast, pronouncing it to be a "joke." Well, they're certain laughing back at WU's San Francisco headquarters in China Basin after today's high reached exactly what WU forecast last Friday. Well done, gentleman.

Here's how far off (under predicted) the various weather sources were based on today's actual temperature and Friday's forecast high.

Wunderground BestForecast: 95 (exact!) 89 (-6) 85 (-10) 89 (-6)
Wcco: 86 (-9)
Kstp: 85 (-10)
Kmsp: 87 (-8)
Kare: 85 (-10)
Strib: 80 (-15)

It's interesting to note that the best local television forecast was 8 degrees off, yet the national and governmental sources, excluding Accuweather, were within 6 degrees. Not a good showing for the locals.

Friday, September 7, 2012

How Hot for Next Tuesday?

There's considerable forecast variability for next Tuesday's high temperature as of this Friday evening. Here's a recap based on information available as 6 p.m. Friday.

Wunderground BestForecast: 95 89 85 89
Wcco: 86
Kstp: 85
Kmsp: 87
Kare: 85
Strib: 80