Our goal is very clear; we do not aim to be the biggest in the communications sector but rather the best weather and weather-related content and information provider in the U.S. We follow these guiding principles to be the very best in the weather category: focus, competitive advantage, teamwork, win-win relationships and control over our destiny. By continuing to focus on the unique integration of creativity, science and technology, The Weather Network strives to be a weather leader in the U.S.
How do you determine your forecasts?
- How does The Weather Network create a local forecast?
There are many parts to a forecast.
The observations are a report of current weather conditions at a particular time and place. Many observations are recorded at airports across the country and are a combination of data from automated weather stations and information from meteorological technicians or weather observers. An increasing number of observations come from entirely automated weather stations. Observations are generally taken at least once an hour, at the top of each hour, for major areas around the world. However, some weather stations augmented by weather observers report only during specific times (e.g., for military flight operations). Temperature, precipitation, opacity (sky coverage), pressure, dew point, visibility and ceiling can be reported in a weather observation. However, due to equipment differences, not all weather stations report all parameters.
The forecast is a look ahead at the expected conditions. The Weather Network’s local forecasts include a short term forecast, a long term forecast, and a 14-day trend.
A short term forecast is a look at the next 24 hours broken into six-hour time blocks. The long term forecast is a look at the next two to seven days. The 14-day trend is an outlook of the expected maximum temperatures over a 14-day period compared to the average normal daily maximum. It is not unusual for the long term forecast to change daily.
The Weather Network provides both a daytime high temperature and a 24-hour minimum (or low) temperature for every day of the forecast. Usually, the highest temperature for a particular day will be achieved during the daylight hours and the lowest temperature will be during the night-time hours. However, this can change. If a warm front passes through overnight or a cold front moves through during the day, the highest or lowest temperature may occur at an unusual hour.
Probability of precipitation (POP) is one of the most misunderstood elements of any forecast. It is simply the chance that measurable precipitation will occur at a particular location over a given time period. Measurable precipitation means at least 0.2 mm of rain or the water equivalent of snow. The POP does not predict when, where or how much precipitation will occur. Therefore a POP of 30% means that there is a 3 in 10 chance that there will be measurable precipitation at the location. A POP of 100% means that the forecaster has a very high confidence that rain will fall at the forecast location. These high POP values are associated with very organized weather systems covering large areas of the country. On the other hand, thunderstorm forecasts are often associated with lower POP values such as 40%. In this case, there is a better chance that the location will stay dry vs. getting wet. People who can be flexible with their plans should not cancel outdoor activities, but must be ready to quickly take cover if a thunderstorm does develop.
A wind forecast includes direction and speed. The strength and direction of the wind is the result of pressure differences in the atmosphere which are caused by large areas of high and low pressure as well as local effects. On a surface weather map, the distance between the isobars (lines of equal atmospheric pressure) can be used to judge the strength of the wind – the closer the isobars, the stronger the wind. Generally, air circulates clockwise around high pressure and counter-clockwise around low pressure in the northern hemisphere. Although some local effects are taken into consideration when generating a wind forecast, winds can be affected by urban structures such as buildings. Urban structures are not considered when formulating a wind forecast for a particular city as wind speed and direction can vary significantly around a given building.
The humidex is an index which accounts for the combined effect of the temperature and humidity. The humidex is not a temperature, but attempts to give a value which reflects a person’s perception of discomfort when warm temperatures are coupled with moderate to high humidity. Generally, people begin to perceive the effects of temperature and humidity when the humidex exceeds a value of 29.
The wind chill is an index which accounts for the cooling effect of the wind at low temperatures. The wind chill is not a temperature, but reflects the feeling of colder conditions when your skin is exposed to wind. The index was determined by comparing the rate of heat lost from a person’s face under different temperature and wind conditions. It gives an idea of the temperature under nearly calm conditions which would cause your face to feel the same cold sensation as the actual temperature and wind. It is important to understand that the wind chill is not a temperature, and that your skin, or any object, cannot be cooled below the actual air temperature. The wind chill is a calculation which appears on The Weather Network when the wind chill drops below 0.
The normal maximum or minimum temperature is an average daily high or low temperature for the time period and is based on an average of 30 years of data. The daily normal or mean temperature refers to the average of the daily maximum and minimum temperatures for a particular day, month or year based on 30 years of data.
What happens when there’s a weather alert? How will I know?
Everything we do is to keep you in the know. When a location is under a weather alert an alert banner appears at the top of the location’s page which links to an alert page containing all of the relevant information for the region. If an alert is in effect for one of your saved locations, an icon appears in that location on your favorites bar.
When an alert is serious enough and we really need to make sure everyone knows about it, the alerts page will be displayed automatically when you first go to that location’s page. You can still see the forecast page by clicking on “Close Alert Page” in the yellow banner.
Can I save locations?
Absolutely! To get started, you can either ask theweathernetwork.com/us to find your location.
To get a city-level forecast, click “Locate Me” at the upper right side of the page (insert visual of the button). Once we’ve determined your area, you’ll be asked to select the exact location you’re looking for and to click “Save”. Not only will you immediately go to that forecast page, but that location will be saved in the top right section of the site making it easier than ever before to get the exact forecast you’re looking for.
Can I customize the site?
Absolutely. Once you’ve saved locations, organized the sections and selected your favorite maps, theweathernetwork.com/us is ready to provide you with the reliable and accurate weather information in the way that you want to see it.
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