How Far In Advance Can Meteorologists Really Predict the Forecast?

If you’re a control freak, there’s nothing more frustrating than those little bits of uncertainty that worm their way into your best-laid plans. Like it or not, life is full of uncertainties, and nothing is more uncertain than the weather. If you’re planning an event dependent on the weather, it’s a roll of the dice as to whether you’ll actually get to enjoy the weather that’s been predicted. Regardless of how many times we’re reminded that weather forecasts can’t be trusted, we wind up crawling back to the forecast and taking note of future predictions. So, how far in advance can weather forecasts be trusted? The computer models used by meteorologists to predict the forecast are based on one-hour increments — one hour into the future, two hours into the future, three hours into the future, each based on the one before it. So, the further into the future a computer model predicts, the more room for error there is. The 24-hour forecast is more dependable than the 3-day forecast, which in turn is more dependable than the 10-day forecast. What that means is that weather forecasts for a month out are completely useless. Meteorologists worth their salt agree that no forecast for more than two days out can be anywhere near accurate. The best way to forecast the weather for any given day is to get up in the morning, open the window, and look out.