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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Weather Contest Is More Than Hot Air
14 November 2000 7:00 pm
Weather has become big business. The most recent El Niño, for example, jump-started demand for insurance-type services that energy companies, farmers, or ski resort owners might buy to cover their weather-related losses. Now, in hopes of improving their forecasting models, a weather services company is sponsoring a contest for the most accurate predictions.
There is a host of models for turning climate and other data into seasonal predictions, says meteorologist Bradley Hoggatt of the Kansas City-based Aquila Energy Corp., but "no one has been able to objectively determine the most skillful one."
To find a far-seeing forecast, Aquila is staging a contest. Each month for half a year, individuals or groups must submit a 90-day forecast of average temperature probabilities for 13 U.S. cities. Don't expect advice on sunbathing. The predictions are based on the needs of utility companies: heating degree days (HDD) for winter and cooling degree days (CDD) for summer. One HDD equals 1 day when the temperature is 1°F below 65°F (18°C). CDDs are for temperatures above 65°F. Over the next 3 years, two winners a year will each receive $50,000 for the best forecast.
"I think we will get something very, very useful" out of the contest, says Ron McPherson, director of the American Meteorological Society, which helped design the contest. The first 3-month forecast is due 15 December. Results will be published in the AMS Bulletin.