Fun with Extended Forecasts: Updating Syracuse

Last week, we begin our experiment with long-range forecasts and their issues with accuracy.  Our first guest was Syracuse, NY. and were both predicting rather cool temperatures for Syracuse at the end of this week.  The long-range forecasts from the GFS model supported this forecast.  (Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not saving the images to the desktop, so they updated over time. Blog and learn.)  Of course, I wasn’t sure it would come to pass as those long-range forecasts can be rather fishy.  In fact, when studying this in college, we came to the conclusion that using climatology as a forecast was more accurate than using a long-range model solution.  Let’s review the setup:

Forecast period: Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week
Accuweather forecast: Thur: 65/47 Fri: 67/48 Sat: 67/51 forecast: Thus: 71/57 Fri: 69/55 Sat: Not available
Climatology: 77/57 for each day

Today is the first day of the forecast window we looked into.  We have yet to reach the high temperature today, but here’s what the updated forecasts say:

Accuweather: Today: 72/46 Fri: 66/59 Sat: 73/60 Today: 70/52 Fri: 68/63 Sat: 75/61
National Weather Service: Today: 73/47 Fri: 70/59 Sat: 76/63

In short, it appears the Friday forecast is right on from over a week ago.  The book-end days look to be a little warmer than originally anticipated, but still below normal when looking at high temperatures.  This might be something we can learn from long-range forecasts.  The exact temperatures may not be accurate, but trends may be fairly accurate.  In the future, we’ll probably look at ensemble forecasts to get a better idea of how accurate these long-range forecasts are believed to be at the initial time.

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