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POLL – How accurate did you find our Queens Birthday weekend forecast?

Following our detailed regional travel forecasts this long weekend we’re keen to hear from you so we know where to place our focus for any improvements needed before the next holiday weekend.

We had an array of feedback – but we’d like you to vote in our public poll below – and we’ll share those results with you too.

We also welcome your feedback by posting a comment, but we’d appreciate it if you could keep the comments as constructive as possible.

How accurate did you find our Queens Birthday weekend forecast?online survey


Dave on 8/06/2010 12:19am

Hi Phil
Yes I too was surprised by the amount of rain particularly yesterday morning. Overall I give you a definate pass for the Waikato. It looks very windy this week and next weekend as well at this stage & a cold snap next week.

Oh well it is not long until the shortest day and then it is heading back to summer!.

karamu49 on 7/06/2010 12:07pm

Ok Phil and the team. 8/10 for the weekends forecast. rain was there as were the temps, however the wind wasnt. so really no storm, just a deep wet sub tropical rain loaded low. Ken Ring was somewhat quite on the spot given his forecast was made 2 yrs ago. so all in all nicely done team.

Ken Ring on 7/06/2010 10:51am

That was your initial call Phil, with the rider of the possibility of a low on Sunday. I am not off scot-free either – I confess that my almanac erred the other way and had Friday wet as well. But it seems you kept the ‘mostly sunny’ tag until the rain actually started to fall. Lunar equinox (as occurred on Sunday) is always the time the models will be least correct because the moon picks up relative speed. That is why regular forecasters made poor calls. We have a fine spell now until the third week in June, and in the fourth week the lunar equinox occurs again, and the greatest potential for forecast-error will repeat.

WW Forecast Team on 7/06/2010 12:54pm

Hi Ken,

Thank you for your feedback.  Actually, WeatherWatch had mentioned all week that the low may impact NZ more than the original "mostly sunny" news story had earlier mentioned…a "watch this place" scenario and by the end of the week we had fined tuned our forecasts fairly accurately for most regions – not all, as per our poll, but most.

We appreciate your feedback, but ultimately we’re keen on hearing constructive feedback on the brand, rather than promoting your own weather brand!


– WeatherWatch weekend team

Ken Ring on 7/06/2010 9:35pm

Yes, top marks for finely tuning as the situation developed. But the question you posed was how accurate you were beforehand, which I think I answered, not intending to selfpromote. My “constructive” feedback would be to suggest taking the moon into account which would entail not looking so far ahead whenever the moon is between hemispheres(which we have just had), and “stretching” the outlook at lunar solstice. But full marks for putting your reputation on the line with your predictions.

Gary on 8/06/2010 6:02am

I know Ken doesn’t like it when I provide evidence of his forecasts being worse than climatology. So here is an article from an astronomer explaining why the moon doesn’t effect the weather. starting on page 12. Apparently the tidal force of the moon is “about 300 times too weak to influence the weather” and “they are swamped by the vastly more energetic thermodynamic forces in the atmosphere driven by the sun’s heat” (not the moon). I might also add the coriolis effect caused by the rotation of the earth (not the moon). I find all this very interesting…Ken will find it inconvenient, but facts have never stopped him before. So any perceived accuracy can be put down to Ken being a prolific forecaster increasing the chance of him having the odd correct forecast to crow about, whilst quietly ignoring or explaining away the rest.

Ken Ring on 8/06/2010 10:43am

No Gary, the maths is wrong. The known laws of gravity describe well an apple at rest falling a stationary tree to a stationary ground. There are no physical gravtiational laws that describe a varying-flight apple falling from a moving tree onto a moving ground, the tree and ground governed by different periodicities, themselves “falling” between larger systems of other trees and grounds. There is no way to test the atmosphere in a lab, unless you can also squeeze a giant moon into the testing chamber, and come up with a control moon that is kept constant. It is too simplistic to say mathematically the moon has negligible force because calculations made by man say so. Math is only our feeble attempt to quantify nature. In this pursuit we are usually found wanting, unless you are an apple-harvester.
An example is this poll. At time of this writing, 34% give Phil a correct rating for the weekend. If one only expected 34% success one would not contine long to run a business. Yet Phil does and runs a commendable website. 34% is not held against him. The reason is because such assessment means very little because it is subjective and only exists in the minds of those who gave their opinion. This collated opinion then gets expressed as a percentage and presented as if it is useful.
Same with the gravitational physics we are asked to believe. There is no math system yet devised that describes the moon’s impact on the air, yet some dreamers think they can “prove” that it has none. They would be better employed working out the number of fairies that can dance on the point of a needle.

WW Forecast Team on 8/06/2010 11:25am

Actually we judge "poor" as our biggest challenge to a successful long weekend forecast at this stage…and 16% wasn’t as bad as we thought, judging by some comments posted!

We just next need to know where we can improve – we’ll be running a survey soon




matt on 7/06/2010 8:49am

Your forecast was okay Phil, 6/10 it was a hard weekend to pick as with the lows and southerlys all hitting at once but on a whole your werent to far off the mark. I cant say the same thing about the met service fairly poor for them this weekend i rated them 3/10.

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