Wind forecast verification : a study in the accuracy of wind forecasts made by the Weather Channel and AccuWeather
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The Weather Channel (TWC) and AccuWeather (AWX) are leading providers of weather information to the general public. The purpose of this Master’s Report is to examine the wind speed forecasts made by these two providers and determine their reliability and accuracy. The data used within this report was collected over a 12-month period at 51 locations across the state of Texas. The locations were grouped according to wind power class, which ranged from Class 1 to Class 4. The length of the forecast period was 9 days for TWC and 14 days for AWX. It was found that the values forecasted by TWC were generally not well calibrated, but were never far from being perfectly calibrated and always demonstrated positive skill. The sharpness of TWC’s forecasts decreased consistently with lead time, allowing them to maintain a skill score greater than the climatological average throughout the forecast period. TWC tended to over-forecast wind speed in short term forecasts, especially within the lower wind power class regions. AWX forecasts were found to have positive skill the first 6 days of the forecasting period before becoming near zero or negative. AWX’s forecasts maintained a fairly high sharpness throughout the forecast period, which helped contribute to increasingly un-calibrated forecast values and negative skill in longer term forecasts. The findings within this report should help provide a better understanding of the wind forecasts made by TWC and AWX, and determine the strengths and weaknesses of both companies.