I just love March. We pass through the Vernal Equinox. We celebrate Saint Patrick. We try to make basketball predictions.
Did you pick UMBC to beat Virginia in the first round?
It’s okay because it was a prediction, and each time this year we’re reminded that predicting the future can be tough. Enter the meteorologist. What a wonderful time of the year. Finally, the attention gets turned away from us “getting it wrong all the time.”
Let’s compare weather predicting and basketball predicting:
Both use history as a guide of the future – In weather, we look back to similar patterns to help predict the upcoming pattern. In basketball we look back to the regular season
Both crunch numbers – Weather models are based upon huge, long mathematical equations. Basketball analysts will throw stats around all day, comparing the two teams
One change in the beginning can sway the entire prediction – An injury to a key player can affect the game’s outcome. Having bad data in weather prediction can throw off the forecast.
One of the questions we get asked way too many times is ‘How do you still get paid to get the forecast wrong?’ Technically this is true because we will never be able to get every, last detail 100% correct in a weather forecast. However if we get it ‘close enough’ then we’re probably more correct than one might think. I accumulated statistics one year for how accurate I was as a forecaster. I gave myself a 10% margin of error (I forecast 30% chance of rain and there was somewhere between 20-40% of rain coverage) and I gave myself 2 degrees of error on low and high temperature. The data I found showed that I was correct on day 1 about 85% of the time, day 2 about 75% of the time, and day 3 70% of the time. After day 3, my accuracy dropped to as low as 40-50% through day 7.
The reason weather predicting is tough is because there are so many variables and so many microclimates to try to quantify into one precise answer for, “Will it rain or not?” The atmosphere is a beautiful, yet very tough thing, to predict. We pour over statistics, analyze the data, and draw conclusions the best we can. I hope this time of the year reminds us all that predicting is difficult. Just take a look at the basketball brackets this time of the year!
And with that, we’ll leave you with the forecast for the weekend below:
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier
BRING IN THE PUMPKINS - It didn't take this family very long to get into the fall spirit, already grabbing pumpkin… https://t.co/twg7nXHMjO52 minutes ago by WeatherNation
Florence leftovers could head back to the Carolinas as a much weaker system... Here's what's happening and how the… https://t.co/4x0unMwy1M2 hours ago by WeatherNation
NEW VIDEO - Unfortunately it was a busy night for one Texas tow-man as he worked to free several trapped cars caug… https://t.co/GdDH4RzxUx5 hours ago by WeatherNation
☕ "What is a pumpkin spice latte?" Our lovely morning team is excited to usher in a new season today. Here's wha… https://t.co/FxoiQRdZQC6 hours ago by WeatherNation
SEVERE WEATHER - Heartbreaking scenes out of Canada after a strong storm ripped through Quebec, leaving behind deva… https://t.co/gXpoj7GmhL6 hours ago by WeatherNation
Flooding concerns across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas this weekend. https://t.co/zu36znzWgj8 hours ago by WeatherNation
Why Tropical Depression Eleven is expected to weaken as it approaches the Caribbean Sea https://t.co/DyfkcTpt9X13 hours ago by WeatherNation
DEMOLISHED NEIGHBORHOODS - Horrific scenes in some neighborhoods in Quebec, Canada as the same system that spawned… https://t.co/t5T8rAGLZE13 hours ago by WeatherNation
JUST IN: Tropical Depression Eleven has formed east of the Caribbean. The storm is forecast to remain a tropical de… https://t.co/fq0MX6V2UC15 hours ago by WeatherNation
Beautiful fall foliage is peaking in the Rocky Mountains. These pictures are courtesy Larry Pierce in Steamboat… https://t.co/ur1zzYV25u15 hours ago by WeatherNation
FORECAST: Additional rainfall between this afternoon (Friday) and Monday shows up to several *more* inches of rain… https://t.co/EOEwii8A9s16 hours ago by WeatherNation