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post #1 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 2:40 pm Thread Starter
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Weather Forecasting

This is probably the best forum to post this question:
Anyone know of a website that has accurate long range weather forecasting??, maybe a month or 2 in advance??
I'm fairly new to touring with 2 up and this info would be a big plus. We've already travelled quite a bit in the rain, but I would like to plan some trips in the months ahead and try to avoid most of the nasty weather. Anyone??

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post #2 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 3:03 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Being a glider pilot, I'm seriously into weather. Also, we have two professional Met men in my club. The bad news is that it can't be done. 5 days is about the furthest with any degree of accuracy, and that is only if the various models they use throw up the same result. Otherwise they'll hedge their bets by forecasting two days only.
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post #3 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 3:36 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

I watch the marine forecasts a lot for trip and passage planning and find that the various services cannot get accurate beyond 2 days as HIGHROAMER says. Learn to read weather maps and learn the symbols, Isobars, Isotherms, etc. Then look at the movement of fronts and pressure areas and you can make you own forecast just about as accurately as the services. You wont' have their computer models and I think that is probably a good thing. I think too often they rely on the models and do not do their due diligence. You can have the best weather forecast and still S%*T happens. My 2 cents

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post #4 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 4:06 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

No one can truly forecast that far in advance, but if what you're really interested in is historical data (average temps, rainfall averages) to get a feel for what you'll be dealing with, then there are a couple of places that I know of that you can easily get some or all of that:

The Weather Channel's Vacation Planner

and

Weather Underground's Weather History

I'm sure there are other similar resources out there.

Hope that helps.
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post #5 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 4:07 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatnickfly
This is probably the best forum to post this question:
Anyone know of a website that has accurate long range weather forecasting??, maybe a month or 2 in advance??
I'm fairly new to touring with 2 up and this info would be a big plus. We've already travelled quite a bit in the rain, but I would like to plan some trips in the months ahead and try to avoid most of the nasty weather. Anyone??
Your right this is not a weather forcast forum.
Accurate? Weather men ?? Long range??? Forget it. Take a meteorology course.
Your best bet is to look at the weather the night before and decide go/no-go or plan B.
Best advise ...Plan alternate routes, build in rain days and get good gear. You can get a general ideas from locals what months have most rain or tornado's, so if you're going across the country plan a few routes on way north one way south, one diagonal. A GPS with weather or a weather radio is nice too.

Just Go
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post #6 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 5:41 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatnickfly
This is probably the best forum to post this question:
Anyone know of a website that has accurate long range weather forecasting??, maybe a month or 2 in advance??
I'm fairly new to touring with 2 up and this info would be a big plus. We've already travelled quite a bit in the rain, but I would like to plan some trips in the months ahead and try to avoid most of the nasty weather. Anyone??
As one who nearly chose meteorology as a career when at Penn State and is a pilot and thus has more than a passing interest in weather, I have to tell you that what you are seeking simply doesn't exist.

Accuweather publishes one of the longest range forecasts (15 days), but I can tell you that everything past about 5 days is pretty much pure fiction. Having said that, I would still rate Accuweather as one of the better forecasting services.

The best ways to avoid nasty weather are:
1. Be prepared for it. I find that being well-prepared seems to keep the bad weather away. OK, this is fiction also, but it sure SEEMS to work!
2. Be flexible in your travels. Really bad weather seldom lasts for more than a couple of days. If you can stop at a place with some nearby attractions, just spend a day or two in a hotel and visit some local things if possible.

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post #7 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 7:01 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatnickfly
This is probably the best forum to post this question:
Anyone know of a website that has accurate long range weather forecasting??, maybe a month or 2 in advance??
I'm fairly new to touring with 2 up and this info would be a big plus. We've already travelled quite a bit in the rain, but I would like to plan some trips in the months ahead and try to avoid most of the nasty weather. Anyone??
You've got some good answers here but there are some general principals that may be helpful. Much of the Wx in the States originates in teh Gulf of Alaska, moves down and across the central US and winds up in your area. So, again as a "general rule", if a Pacific storm hits Seattle, there's a possibility it will work its way across the country and knock on your door about a week later. Does this mean you can count on bad wx a week after Seattle has it? No. Just a potential. Other storms come down from Canada through the Central Plains and can shove to the side the Pacific storm pattern. One suggestion would be to make good friends with a pilot and have him/her call for a pilot's weather briefing just before you plan on beginning your trip. If nothing else you might decide to take rain gear.
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post #8 of 24 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 7:15 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get. NCAR has some truly huge computers working on weather simulation and prediction and still once you get beyond maybe 8 days you are better off with a Magic 8-Ball. Some times (early spring and late summer along the Front Range come to mind) even the Magic 8-ball will fail you. Be prepared for rain and be willing to hunker down for a day or two if it gets really bad. All things pass.
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post #9 of 24 Old Oct 13th, 2010, 5:47 am
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Re: Weather Forecasting

I use weather.com and the AM weather band on the bike if I run in to some weather. Press AM twice on the radio.

Good gear is a must if traveling more than 2-days away from home, IMHO.

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post #10 of 24 Old Oct 13th, 2010, 9:31 am Thread Starter
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Thanks everyone, I kind of figured there was no wasy way to forcast that far in advance, but I gave it a shot anyway. My SO and I went to the Catskill Rally a couple of weeks ago, rode for 6 hours in the rain, first time for her and NO complaints, so I guess it's easier to don the rain gear and enjoy the ride !!
Thanks again.

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post #11 of 24 Old Oct 13th, 2010, 10:02 am
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Re: Weather Forecasting

I've been using this 16-day site for years. Anything past 2-3 days I figure it'll be just the opposite. Works most of the time.

http://ggweather.com/qpf/qpf_gfs_00z_all.htm

Jer

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post #12 of 24 Old Oct 13th, 2010, 6:24 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by highroamer
Being a glider pilot, I'm seriously into weather. Also, we have two professional Met men in my club. The bad news is that it can't be done. 5 days is about the furthest with any degree of accuracy, and that is only if the various models they use throw up the same result. Otherwise they'll hedge their bets by forecasting two days only.
Ditto! I used to soar out of Harris Hill in Elmira, NY and weather is everything for powerless flight. However, back to the topic, my best friend was the chief weather guesser at McMurdo (Antarctica) in 1980 and on the Kennedy (CV-67) back in 1986. A twelve hour prediction is about the best accuracy anyone can hope for; beyond that you may consider a dart board.

Somewhere along the way I came across a statistic (a baldfaced lie) that said if you based tomorrow's weather on what you had today, you'd be correct 60% of the time.

There may be patterns and trends, but that isn't enough to leave the rain gear behind. In 2009 LAF and I spent seven out of nine days in the rain in New England. This summer my wife and I spent five weeks heading from PA to WA and back. We had 2.5 days of rain, total. Go figure.

Take care,
Chris

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post #13 of 24 Old Oct 13th, 2010, 7:25 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracus
Ditto! I used to soar out of Harris Hill in Elmira, NY and weather is everything for powerless flight. However, back to the topic, my best friend was the chief weather guesser at McMurdo (Antarctica) in 1980 and on the Kennedy (CV-67) back in 1986. A twelve hour prediction is about the best accuracy anyone can hope for; beyond that you may consider a dart board.

Somewhere along the way I came across a statistic (a baldfaced lie) that said if you based tomorrow's weather on what you had today, you'd be correct 60% of the time.

There may be patterns and trends, but that isn't enough to leave the rain gear behind. In 2009 LAF and I spent seven out of nine days in the rain in New England. This summer my wife and I spent five weeks heading from PA to WA and back. We had 2.5 days of rain, total. Go figure.
We have come a long way since 1986. I live not far from Harris Hill and our forecasts are pretty accurate out to close to 48 hours now and quite accurate to 24 hours. We have had several heavy snow storms that were forecast more than 24 hours in advance when you couldn't even see anything on the national radar. Sure enough, the computer models were correct and a storm formed up and dumped on us within a couple of hours of the forecast start.

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post #14 of 24 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 12:22 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
We have come a long way since 1986. I live not far from Harris Hill and our forecasts are pretty accurate out to close to 48 hours now and quite accurate to 24 hours. We have had several heavy snow storms that were forecast more than 24 hours in advance when you couldn't even see anything on the national radar. Sure enough, the computer models were correct and a storm formed up and dumped on us within a couple of hours of the forecast start.
We may have come a long way since '86, but weather is still a matter of weighing probabilities and comparing previous conditions and their results. Hence, we use computers to generate predictions but even these predictions may contradict each other. NWS says one thing and our local weatherman has another. Consider the difficulty in predicting the tracks of tropical storms and hurricanes. They may tell you "conditions" are right for a tornado, but that doesn't mean you're going to get one.

Another consideration is the location of who's doing the forecasting. The NWS/NOAA for my geographic region is in State College and that's 90+ miles away. I'll accept their prediction up to 24 hours with reservations. Up to 12 hours and I'll go with what they say.

Take care,
Chris

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post #15 of 24 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 3:15 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

I think the best way to determine how the weather will be on your trip, is this: If you bring heated liners, the weather will be hot, if you only bring light weight vented jackets, it will be cold, if you bring your rain gear, it will be sunny, and if you forget it, Well, be ready for the deluge.....

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post #16 of 24 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 4:45 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by casualemt
I think the best way to determine how the weather will be on your trip, is this: If you bring heated liners, the weather will be hot, if you only bring light weight vented jackets, it will be cold, if you bring your rain gear, it will be sunny, and if you forget it, Well, be ready for the deluge.....
Now that's my kind of forecast!

Take care,
Chris

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post #17 of 24 Old Oct 14th, 2010, 6:23 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracus
We may have come a long way since '86, but weather is still a matter of weighing probabilities and comparing previous conditions and their results. Hence, we use computers to generate predictions but even these predictions may contradict each other. NWS says one thing and our local weatherman has another. Consider the difficulty in predicting the tracks of tropical storms and hurricanes. They may tell you "conditions" are right for a tornado, but that doesn't mean you're going to get one.

Another consideration is the location of who's doing the forecasting. The NWS/NOAA for my geographic region is in State College and that's 90+ miles away. I'll accept their prediction up to 24 hours with reservations. Up to 12 hours and I'll go with what they say.
Yes, what you say is certainly a good part of it and was the only way it was done 20+ years ago. However, now that we have supercomputers that can execute reasonably fine grid atmospheric models, the forecasts can have some analytical basis and not just be a pattern match to past conditions. This has added a lot of accuracy to forecasting, particularly within a 48 hour or so window.

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post #18 of 24 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 4:27 am
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Right then Voyager, care to tell me what the soaring's going to be like in Ireland tomorrow?

Kevin.
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post #19 of 24 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 8:39 am
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Not that I wanted this to turn into some sort of meteorological duel, let me just have my final say that I agree, it is true the newer computers are better at crunching numbers and making predictions. But, they can only process data that is entered into their programs. They do not collect the data. Ergo, faulty data causes faulty predictions. Whether this error in data collection is either mechanical or human, it is always there.

We can all agree that our machines are, for the most part, well built and will perform as advertised until some mechanic or home wrencher makes a mistake: tires mounted in the wrong direction or under-inflated, the wrong octane, etc. Human error can rarely be eliminated from any equation.

Here endeth my sermon.

Take care,
Chris

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post #20 of 24 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 10:22 am Thread Starter
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Gee, I only wanted to know if it was going to rain !!
This is my first HEAVY bike and I find it comfortable to ride even in the rain, (with the proper gear on), so as I said before, pack right, enjoy the ride.
Thanks everyone, great discussions!!

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post #21 of 24 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 10:42 am
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Re: Weather Forecasting

I just look at the sky when I get up in the morning.

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post #22 of 24 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 10:48 am
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Why the big discussion about the weather?

Al Gore has already told us it is going to be HOT! Remember global warming?

Ride 'em if you got 'em.
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post #23 of 24 Old Oct 15th, 2010, 3:06 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

Thanks alot! I had almost forgot about that IDIOT!!




Quote:
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Why the big discussion about the weather?

Al Gore has already told us it is going to be HOT! Remember global warming?

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post #24 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2010, 5:27 pm
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Re: Weather Forecasting

I am looking at Weather.com right now. It predicts it will be sunny and 75 degrees in 30 minutes in the hour by hour tab. I turn and look out the window and it looks like a downpour will be here any second with no sign of the sun and the temp is 66 in my back yard. Not sure which one to belive so i am going riding anyway.
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