April 2014 was an 'alright' month by my standards of forecast success. I had some bad days and some good days. Before I show you the data and write you through it, here are some of my rules:
1) Every forecast I make each day I work I verify
2) As long as the forecast was made on an April date, it qualifies as the month's data
3) The forecast is for KBTV which is the Burlington International Airport
4) High and low temperatures verified through the climate report are compared to my forecast numbers
5) When going on air, I'll make ranges of temperatures both for uncertainty and also differing micoclimates locally
For the month of April 2014, I was off (for a 7 day forecast period) an average of 54 degrees. For me, there are 13 forecast periods. It ranged from being off merely 28 degrees total, to 85 degrees error. Day 1 high is today's high, day 2 low is tonight's low. It goes on all the way to day 7 low and day 7 high. As you would assume with any forecast, the error and uncertainty grows with time. For instance, I was 2.2 degrees off (on average) for the day 1 high. An example would be this: I broadcasted/forecasted a high of 70 degrees today (Thursday May 8) for KBTV. Usually the high would verify between 68-72 degrees.
Compare that to day 7, where I was off an average of 5.6 degrees for the low temperature and 6.5 degrees for the high temperature. High temperatures were tougher to forecast in April because the sun became very strong that month, but still clouds could make it a lot cooler, thus if sun came out more than I anticipated or vice versa, it had a greater effect.
I've done this in previous years and the trend line for the year shows that I'm farthest off my mark in winter, closest and most accurate in the summer. The spring month of April proved to show improvement as we get into the warmer months. Hope you enjoyed reading this!
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier
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