Denver Daily Puts Weather News to Test


The name might be a bit trite, but everything else about this is genius. The Denver Post is giving the various media outlets who provide local weather forecasts a report card each day on its new Weather-O-MeterLost Remote reports:

In a brave display of transparency, The Denver Post publishes how accurate their forecast is each day in their Weather-O-Meter. But they don’t stop there, they measure the accuracy of every Denver forecaster. Even the Weather Channel and National Weather Service are compared.

Here’s how the various outlets did yesterday:

Total Forecast Accuracy

  1. Nat’l Weather Service: Δ3°
  2. FoxNews: Δ4°
  3. 7News: Δ4°
  4. CBS4: Δ4°
  5. News2: Δ4°
  6. Denver Post: Δ5°
  7. 9News: Δ7°
  8. Rocky Mtn News: Δ7°
  9. Weather Channel: Δ8°

Δ means "degrees off of the actual temperature"

This reminds me of a story I wrote for another publication several years ago–and mentioned in a more recent B&C cover story on weather reporter accountability–on restaurateurs in Providence, Rhode Island who banded together and pushed the local stations to not play up phantom snowstorms, as those breathless reports were taking a big bite out of the local restaurant business. 

The B&C cover story had this paragraph:
Several years ago, a group of restaurateurs in Providence, R.I., banded together and kept track of the local stations’ snow forecasts versus the actual snowfall. They presented their findings to station managers, along with estimates of how much the forecasts were costing the economy (as high as $10 million-$20 million some days, they said) based on overzealous snow predictions. Said organizer Bob Burke, “Not even Nome, Alaska, gets as much snow as you’re predicting [for Providence].” (He says the predictions fell more in line with typical amounts after the restaurateurs approached the stations, and they were not forced to give their “Biggest Flake” award.)