WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Why does your forecast vary so drastically from the one posted on another local station's website? For example their temps on Friday are forecast for a high of 38 low of 18. Yours are more than 10 degrees different for the high at 50 and a low of 24. How is one to plan anything in the Triangle with forecasts from two different local stations so drastically different?

Posted January 27, 2007

MIKE MOSS SAYS:     Lori,     Unfortunately there are times when the atmosphere is in a pattern that makes it difficult for both computer models and human forecasters to make a confident forecast, sometimes to the effect that different forecasters will make very different calls for weather conditions on the same day, and sometimes to the effect that forecasts will change notably from one day to the next. In the case of last week on Tuesday, had you watched Greg in the evening that day, he was pretty open about the fact that weather for Friday and beyond should be "taken with a grain of salt." In fact, we ended up becoming convinced of a colder pattern ourselves for a time last week, and ended up lowering the high for Friday as well, only to have the actual temperatures that day end up as a low of 22 and a high of 49, very close to the numbers you listed from our Tuesday forecast. That's probably the most frustrating scenario of all, when you get the forecast right a few days in advance and then change it to something with a greater error before that day arrives! Luckily that doesn't happen real often, but the complexity of the atmosphere, and the sensitivity of local weather to what might appear to be rather small large scale pattern changes, means that we're always going to have to expect a few of these "difficult to plan" scenarios from time to time.

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