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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 05/ 5/2009

An Imperfect Temperature Forecast

By Capital Weather Gang

Weather Checker

* Full Forecast | NatCast | April Climate Recap *

Weather Checker is an outsider's analysis of CWG's forecast accuracy. See previous Weather Checker posts.

By Jamie Yesnowitz

Brian Jackson's forecast for yesterday (Monday) published on Sunday provided a good opportunity to critique a temperature prediction since the forecast for rain was straight forward. Brian predicted with "medium-high confidence" that the temps would "reach the low 60s, perhaps a degree or two warmer than Sunday's highs" (which was 61 at Reagan National Airport, DCA). After tiring of counting raindrops yesterday, I went on the National Weather Service Web site to see if Brian's forecast of 62 or 63 would verify. Alas, it was not to be, as flow from the northeast prevented any appreciable warming.

Keep reading for more on this flawed temperature forecast...

Remarkably, the temperature at Reagan National (DCA) stayed within a two-degree range (54-56) the whole day, with very little variance at nearby stations (BWI and Dulles airports). That narrow distribution caused a bust on predicted temperatures, both by Brian and surprisingly, Jason Samenow in his forecast for Monday produced on that very day. While Jason captured the conditions and the range of precipitation just fine, his same day prediction of "near / around 60" should be considered a miss considering the same-day nature of the forecast, and his "high confidence" forecast. Interestingly enough, all predictions by CWG for Monday that were made prior to Brian and Jason's forecasts were for highs in the 60s.

About the Weather Checker...

Jamie Yesnowitz has been interested in the weather since he rooted for school-closing snowstorms while growing up in Brooklyn and East Rockaway, N.Y. After graduating from Dartmouth College with a bachelor's degree in economics and government, his focus on the accuracy of weather predictions took hold when he moved to Coral Gables, Fla., to attend the University of Miami School of Law. Class was scheduled to begin on August 24, 1992. Hurricane Andrew had other ideas, however, shutting down the school for weeks. But what stuck in Jamie's mind was the final unpredicted swerve of the eye that saved those living in Miami and points north, and completely devastated areas about 20 miles south of Miami.

Undeterred by the hurricane, Jamie ultimately served as editor-in-chief of his law school newspaper, and earned both a juris doctorate and master's degree in taxation. Following law school, Jamie practiced corporate and securities law in New York before shifting to the state and local tax consulting world. Jamie moved from New York to the Washington area in 2003, and he is presently a state and local tax senior manager at a major accounting firm. Jamie lives in Potomac with his wife, Sandra, and their two daughters, Sarah and Carly.

By Capital Weather Gang  | May 5, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Weather Checker  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Recap: A Mild and Wet April
Next: PM Update: Here Comes Another Batch of Rain


Yikes, it really has been tricky recently. And I've noticed that I have had to "now-cast" for several days on temperatures and rain. Hope there is more clarity and verification in weather models this weekend, for which I will have to forecast soon!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | May 5, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

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