January 20, 2004 - A Check on the Weather
Of course we are all quite fortunate to live in Santa Barbara. And not the least of the blessings-that-we-must-count is our weather. The average high temperature for yesterday, January 19th, in Santa Barbara is 65 degrees, for Santa Maria it is 64 degrees. For this day elsewhere the numbers aren’t so *hot*. The average high is 30 in Chicago, 37 in New York City, and 18 in Duluth .... brrrrrr. While we don’t need to make important decisions like if we have to wake up early to blow the snow off of our driveway, we still talk a lot about the weather. And, we do listen to those illusive weather forecasters before we make our own decisions … like should we take a sweater to work today or not?
While the dedicated staff of edhat.com was taking the holiday off yesterday (Ed went skiing: he reports more skiers than snow boarders at Alpine Meadows and over twice as many men on the slopes than women), the national weather forecasting service was still at work making their predications. As a fun little exercise, the dedicated staff tracked those forecasts in the week leading up to the holiday to check of accuracy.
The graph here shows what the weather service was predicting as Monday’s high and low as the week went on. The flat lines show the actual temperature (high of 60, low of 38). As you can see the predictions varied a little … but they were all too high. As close as Sunday, the prediction (63, 43) was off significantly. Ironically, a better prediction would have been just to guess the temperatures of the day before (59, 40). Even back on Friday, when we asked edhat subscribers to predict Monday’s temperature, guessing that day’s temperatures (59, 39) would have worked better than knowing Sunday’s forecast.
The dedicated staffers found that it was not only the temperatures where errors occurred. Back on Tuesday and Wednesday showers were predicted for the weekend. Later in the week it was changed to partial cloudiness. All wrong because the day was sunny.
This all being said, the edhat.com subscribers who entered the contest on Friday were no better at prognosticating than the weather service (64, 46 was the average prediction). With much joy (but very little pride) we are pleased to announced that Roober was the closest with his/her 61, 43 prediction. Roober wins free movies tickets. The Santa Barbara Film Festival is doing a special showing of My Fair Lady. Can you say, “Rain in Spain”?
Speaking of the film festival! ... edhat.com is happy to announce that we will be hosting the daily movie map for the Santa Barbara Film Festival next month. We will also be reporting on film festival stuff for the entire week of February 2nd. Stay tuned for more details!
Want to get instant fame and cool prizes? ... enter today’s contest