Outdoor FunTools & Forecasts

How To Get The BEST Local Weather Forecast, Plus How To Do Your Own Weather Forecasting

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By Joshua

local-weather-forecast-by-Another-Pint-Please.jpg What’s the weather going to be on Friday? Rain during the picnic? Freezing on the morning of the marathon?

Well, all of us want to know what the weather is going to be tomorrow, next week… and, of course, today.

The problem is, it’s not always easy to find a good weather forecast. And, of course, go all the jokes about the weather forecasters not getting it "right."

Truth be told, weather forecasters cannot always get the forecast right on the money all the time. But who can blame them? Despite all the best efforts by today’s weather forecasters using modern technology, even the best weather team using state-of-the-art computers cannot always persuade Mother Nature to fulfill a 50% chance of rain in this particular city, on this particular day, between such and such a time.

It’s hard to nail down exactly what time it’s going to rain, if there will be a freeze the night the cold front pulls through, or where that hurricane is going to make landfall.

So, how do you get a good weather forecast? Are there ways to forecast the weather yourself?…

How To Get A Good Local Forecast

I like to use the same rule of thumb with getting the weather as I do when researching — use at least 3 resources.

I like to call it my "composite forecast." After all, I have simply seen way too many forecasts which vary
from each other to rely on just one source!

Locally, I have seen the occasional situation where one forecaster will suggest a cold front with lows of 37 or 38 degrees, while another station says the same day will experience 41 or 42 degrees.

Important? Sure. That 4- or 5-degree difference can mean the difference between covering up the plants or letting them safely go uncovered.

Of course, I tend to play it safe and prepare for the worst. The point is, though, I am much better off getting at least 3 or 4 different weather forecasts and averaging out the local chances for rain, cold temperatures, or the afternoon thunderstorm.

Where I live, I have the advantage of the 4 major networks, and several other local outlets.

You may not have so many weather resources to rely on. However, in today’s world of media coverage reaching saturation, it’s likely you have at least 1 or 2 news stations covering your local area. And that doesn’t even count national organizations like The Weather Channel and the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) .


How To Do Your Own Weather Forecasting

So, if you are one of those people who doesn’t like (or trust) the idea of million-dollar computers and weather forecasters telling you what the weather will be tomorrow, you’re not alone!

Plenty of people go by their own "rules of thumb," reading animal behavior (like cats meowing and birds flocking — each of which signal changes in the weather), and even what they "feel in their bones."

But is there another way to do your own forecasting?

Yes, you could buy your own weather station!

That’s right, you can actually get a personal weather station to check out your local weather and get an idea as to the forecast for your immediate area. Not only is this informative, it can be a lot of fun, too.

Personal weather stations can be purchased for around $50 and up.

They include things like wind speed, wind direction, dew point, temperature, cloud coverage, and barometric pressure. More advanced models include many more functions and even can allow for an interface with your personal computer.