Author Topic: Your experiences with your local NWS office?  (Read 6366 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ncpilot

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 937
    • Monkey Junction Weather
Your experiences with your local NWS office?
« on: August 16, 2006, 11:15:18 AM »
Wondering if people had any particular experiences with their local NWS office, or whether anyone has ever talked to them?

What about your local NWS forecast accuracy?

I've spoken a few times with local NWS staff, and they've generally been helpful, informative, and willing to talk, time permitting...

However........ I have found their forecasts to be iffy, and we're only talking about 2-3 days out. Maybe my location is just a bad spot, but it seems they overly rely on the agreement between the various weather models, rather than asking which one is more correct (this is based on my daily frequent reading of the "forecast discussion"). Note I don't say they never question if the models are accurate, but they generally go with consensus among models.

So... I think it might be nice to add my data to their mesonet observations, as per instructions on their site, I email for more info. Don't hear back for a few weeks. Decide to call, get the info I need, sign up with wunderground for upload and station ID. Email back with info (uh, maybe that was a mistake?), this time copying the webmaster as well as the person maintaining the mesonet. No response. Guess they really aren't that interested after all...

The only local meteorologist in my experience that is really willing to question the models, and put forth his own forecast is Greg Fishel of WRAL TV in Raleigh, NC. He's been at that station for over 20 years I think, and from the looks of it, has quite a nice budget also...

I ain't saying it's easy, but how many times have we all read a forecast, done our own look at radar and satellite, LOOKED outside at actual conditions, and come up with a different more accurate scenario?
Marc
Wilmington, NC
"Monkey Junction Weather"
Davis VP2 wireless, WeatherLink

Offline SLOweather

  • Administrator
  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3457
    • http://www.sloweather.com
Your experiences with your local NWS office?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2006, 01:33:46 PM »
I've found Forecast Advisor interesting to check.

They compare the accuracy of several forecasts over the last month and last year. For our area, the NWS generally scores lower than most or all of the others.

We are at the northern end of the Oxnard/LA office forecast area.

I read the NWS discussion for my area regularly, and it seems to me that, unless the weather has the potential to be really interesting, we don't seem to get their full attention.

Also, I was tickled to see that they had a new streaming audio forecast available, which I linked to from SLOweather.com. About a week later it was broken, looping an old forecast from several months ago. That went on for a could of days. I finally called the office, and then, a couple more days later, emailed the webmaster.

Apparently one one person down there knows how that works, and was on vacation. They finally took the audio page down, and it hasn't been fixed yet. That was over 2 weeks ago.

Offline Anole

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 585
    • http://pineislandweather.com
Your experiences with your local NWS office?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2006, 01:47:06 PM »
I could go off on a long dissertation about forecasting in general but I won't. Suffice to say that IMHO forecasting is just educated guesswork and needs to be viewed as such.

As for the NWS, they are right as often as any of the local talking heads. And certainly as good or better than Accuweather for my specific location.

During the summer here I could probably do as well as they all do by just putting a static "40% chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms" graphic on my page  :)

Offline Anole

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 585
    • http://pineislandweather.com
Re: Your experiences with your local NWS office?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2006, 01:49:35 PM »
Quote from: "ncpilot"

The only local meteorologist in my experience that is really willing to question the models, and put forth his own forecast is Greg Fishel of WRAL TV in Raleigh, NC. He's been at that station for over 20 years I think, and from the looks of it, has quite a nice budget also...


I always liked Fishel but over the last 5 or so years he's certainly toned it down a bit. He used to get very excited when any kind of bad weather was about to hit. And I mean _very_ excited!

You're right though, he does have a pretty nice budget and the equipment that goes along with it as well.

Offline ocala

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4160
Your experiences with your local NWS office?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2006, 08:15:35 AM »
Guess I missed this thread. Really any forecast beyond 36 hours is useless, and even that's pushing it. There's just too many changing parameters that make it very hard. That being said my forecast office, Jacksonville, isn't very accurate. I live in the extreme southern portion of the CWA. 5 miles to my SE is the Melbourne office and 5 miles to my SW is the Tampa office. When trying to compare forecasts I always look at all 3 and go from there. It's amazing the sharp differences all three can have at times but the Jax office is sometimes not even close to the others.
 I have found that Tampa and Melbourne do a better job of forecasting then my own office. Also comparing the NWS to Intellicast and TWC I've found that Intellicast and TWC are more accurate. Accuweather isn't even in the ballpark.
 I think Anole hit it on the head when he said 40% chain. Put it up and leave it up for the summer.
The blues had a baby and they named it Rock & Roll

Offline weatherforyou

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
  • My weather is on WeatherForYou.com. Is yours?
    • http://www.weatherforyou.com
Re: Your experiences with your local NWS office?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2006, 12:15:51 PM »
Quote from: "ncpilot"
I think it might be nice to add my data to their mesonet observations, as per instructions on their site, I email for more info. Don't hear back for a few weeks. Decide to call, get the info I need, sign up with wunderground for upload and station ID.

Data sent to the weatherforyou.com/HAMweather Personal Weather Station Program is provided to NOAA and integrated into their mesonet.  So if you sign up there they'll get the data.  WU doesn't share their data with NOAA.
Joe Torsitano


Offline ocala

  • Forecaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4160
Your experiences with your local NWS office?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2006, 01:42:15 PM »
Joe, when is your PWS site going to debut? It's been a while since I heard about it.
The blues had a baby and they named it Rock & Roll

Offline katlon

  • LONNIE'S WEATHER STATION
  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
  • GO HEELS!!!
    • LONNIE'S WEATHER STATION
local NWS
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2006, 01:50:02 PM »
The guys here in the Upstate of SC do a pretty good job of forecasting. The problem I have with them is that they all are so old that they don't seem to want to get into the 21st century. No interest in StormReady, no interest in the Espotter program and very little interet in Skywarn. I talked to them several months ago about putting NOAA Weather Radio on the net but no one there knows how.

Lonnie

 

anything