What do I forecast?

Your forecast will consist of a high temperature range, a low temperature range, and a precipitation range in a 24-hour period beginning at 0600 UTC at the given forecast station. Note that you will not receive any points for a verification outside your range; however, the larger the range forecast, the fewer award points you will receive. For more information on contest scoring, please visit the rules page.

When should I enter my forecast, and how many times can I enter a forecast for the same verification period?

You can enter a forecast as many times as you’d like up until the forecast entry deadline, which is 0000 UTC. Only your last forecast entry will be submitted.

What station do I forecast for?

A forecast period will consist of two weeks of forecasting, four days (Monday through Thursday) per week. There will be five stations in the fall, and five stations in the spring. The full schedule can be found here.

How is my score calculated?

Visit the scoring section of the rules page for details on forecast contest scoring.

Will the system prevent me from forecasting a range larger than “allowed”, or will I simply receive zero award points for that part of my forecast?

You will receive zero points for your forecast, so you should be aware that:

Forecasting a temperature range of 10° or more will yield zero points no matter the verification
Forecasting a precipitation range of 0.5″ or more will yield zero points no matter the verification

I’m a current student/faculty member… Can I join National Forecaster?

Yes! Any forecaster that is currently part of an academic institution can join their forecast team, or if no team exists for your institution, you can request that your team be created. Send any team creation requests to Pat McNamara, or speak to your team’s local manager to be added to a team already in existence. In order for a team to count towards the final cumulative team standings, the team must consist of at least five forecasters.

I’m NOT a current student/faculty member… Can I join National Forecaster?

Yes! You may also join National Forecaster, however you will not participate as part of a team. Nonetheless, you can still win individual awards, and interact with other forecasters on the site.

What if my forecast doesn’t match what I thought I entered?

The system has many error checks in place while submitting a forecast. After each submission be sure to review the forecast in your profiles “forecasts” tab. If it’s incorrect there, resubmit your forecast. If the problem persists please contact your team manager immediately.

What if I see an error in verification?

Verification is automated, but occasionally there may be errors. Please be patient, as it may take a few hours for the errors to be fixed. If errors appear after the verification period has ended, you may contact your local manager, who will in turn contact the moderators of National Forecaster.