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FAQ


 

About WT360 (Back to top)

What is WeatherTrends360.com?
WeatherTrends360.com is a new and simple tool that allows everyone to access future weather forecast information, up to 360 days in advance . Not only is it free, it's also freeing as you no longer have to leave the weather to chance.
Can I find historical weather information on the website?
The short answer is no. However, we do offer historical weather data for a fee on our business portal: www.wt360business.com. You can also contact info@wt360business.com for more information.

About Forecasts (Back to top)

Can I trust the year ahead forecast?
WeatherTrends360.com is brought to you by Weather Trends International, the leader of year-ahead long range weather forecasts. Their forecasts are the most detailed in the industry by day for temperature and sky conditions a year ahead for over 720,000 locations, all 195 countries, islands and territories and 42,000 zip codes here in the U.S. resulting in millions of potential forecasts across the globe. Weather Trends International has been working with large retailers, manufacturers, financial analysts and agricultural firms since 2002. To learn more about Weather Trends International click here.
Why don't you update your long range weather forecasts?
We use a statistical/math based proprietary trade secret forecasting model built on a 100+ years of weather history with dozens of local weather parameters to assess future weather trends. New forecasts are issued by Weather Trends International everyday for day 360 so you're always 360 days ahead of the weather! Previous forecasts do not change once they're made as there is no new information in our math/statistical model to warrant a change. Within 14-days those long range trend forecasts do get updated using more traditional short range weather forecasting techniques. Come back often in the 14 day period as new information is updated every hour for the hour-by-hour forecasts and everyday for the 14-day forecasts.
Is long range weather prediction really possible?
Yes. For over a decade the U.S. Government's National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center has been making very high level U.S. forecasts out 13 months but unless you know where to find them you may have only seen their 30-day outlooks (http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/). NASA, world government organizations, United Nations, climate scientists and universities have been trying to model the earth's weather for decades and those models attempt to predict the next 100 years. Of course we've all probably heard the forecast from The Old Farmer's Almanac or other knock-offs which sell 10s of millions of copies each year demonstrating our fascination with future weather. There are dozens of major commercial weather companies that produce long-range forecasts but these are expensive fee based services to their clients. For the first time detailed city-by-city long range forecasts are now available to the general public at no cost by WeatherTrends360.com.
It's important to note that long range forecasting, for the most part, has been limited to temperature and precipitation forecasts as it's still impossible to make predictions a year-out on small scale features like where a tornado will hit, or localized ice storm or when and exactly where a hurricane will make landfall. These smaller scale features are still well entrenched in the chaos of weather but larger scale weather patterns are becoming more and more predictable with advance in the science and faster computer models.
How do you forecast weather long-range?
Exactly how we do it is a closer guarded trade secret. We have a very smart team of meteorologists and PhD's that have spent their lives studying weather patterns and climate. The kind information we look at incorporates over 100 years of weather history by day by location all over the world (our historical weather data sources include world governments, universities and 3rd party suppliers) combined with dozens of local weather parameters (elevation, proximity to lakes, mountains, cities) sprinkled with Gaussian Theory (technical mumbo jumbo), Periodicity (weather cycles), Solar Activity and Climate Indices (El Nino, La Nina, PDO, AMO - more technical mumbo jumbo) to assess the likely future weather trends. We then pass that to the millions of groundhogs we have hiding all over the world and...Ok no, there are no groundhogs used in the process but we do use a proprietary algorithm to ingest these trillions of weather metrics analyzed by several millions lines of computer code on dozens of very fast cloud based computers to generate your forecast.
How do I plan a trip with the forecast?
The WeatherTrends360.com charts are most useful in determining the most desirable weather days for your activity. For instance, if you were planning to ski in Aspen, CO in February, simply enter February 1 into the when field and Aspen, CO into the where field, select GO and view the trend chart for 30 days. Here you can see the temperatures and sky conditions across the month. Use that information to decide what weather looks the best for you to enjoy your trip. If your trip is within the next 14 days, use the global view to see expected snow storms - anywhere in the world.
Why can't the forecast be more accurate for 1-5 days out?
That depends on what more "accurate" means to you as we all have different expectations as to what makes something "accurate". Short range forecasts are generated by government agencies like the U.S. National Weather Service or the U.K. Met Office using the most powerful computers in the world to analyze thousands of variables in very sophisticated computer models. These forecasts are used by major weather companies, your local TV weather personality and are pretty good, meaning their error is only 2-7 degrees. Predicting the amount of rainfall even 1 day out is even more difficult as it can rain 1" as forecast at the airport - official reporting station but nothing in your backyard. So depending on where you live will give you a different perspective of whether the forecast was right or wrong.
Short term weather forecasts rely on many variables that can change hour to hour and these changes can reduce accuracy drastically. Since weather forecasting is based on the science of meteorology using physics, fluid dynamics that attempt to decode the unknowns of nature, no one will get it right 100% of the time, but we're getting better everyday. On July 28th, 2010 the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) just made a major enhancement to these forecast models so hopefully that means an even better short range forecast.

About Charts (Back to top)

Why am I seeing this chart instead of a calendar with a high & low temps?
The WeatherTrends360.com chart view is meant to show you the upcoming weather pattern in a very simple and useful way. We believe that the most useful weather information points out the "trends" from cold to hot to cold making it a little easier to be prepared for what's ahead.
The charts are designed to show you fluctuations in temperature over the long term weeks and months. The forecast in the charts is not perfect and as with any weather forecast you should expect some to be incorrect, but as you use them over the long term you will begin to realize the advantage you have for planning your events and being prepared for what the future weather will be. For the first time you'll have access to information that you can use to pick one day over another for an event, or at the very least know well in advance what to expect from the weather. No more leaving the weather to chance.
P.S. - If you want to read words and numbers, simply move your mouse over the chart line to see more specifics.
What do the 2 lines on the chart mean?
The top line indicates the expected high temperature (red line) and the bottom line indicates the expected low temperature (blue line).
How can I tell if it will rain or snow?
You can see the sky icons at the top of the WeatherTrends360.com chart view. Where the icons change to clouds and or rain/snow, there is some precipitation expected that day, exactly how much on a given day is best left to the short term forecast when we're within 14 days

About The Site (Back to top)

What are the points for?
Right now we're not sure, but we'll think of something. We also think its fun to get points, so we decided to let you start getting points right away.
How do I earn points?
Every registered user earns points just by using the site. You will see your points accumulate for every action taken. So register here /Register to begin earning pints for logging in, checking the weather for your birthday, sharing a trend view, spinning a globe...we think you get the idea. So go now and earn points.
Can I advertise here?
Maybe. If you have questions about becoming a sponsor or advertising, contact us at ads@weathertrends360.com.
Can I submit an article?
Yes. We love it when users suggest topics and submit articles. Make sure you have registered and then if you have a weather topic (or weather related topic, like the best season for fly fishing in US mid-west) just email us at articles@weathertrends360.com.
Can I submit a photo?
Absolutely! To send us a photo about weather, make sure you have a registered WeatherTrends360.com passport and send you photo and a brief description to photos@weathertrends360.com. Then check the site to see if your photo was selected. PS - We don't pay for photography, so if your photo is submitted, you'll get the bragging rights and points, but no money. You can also upload photos to our Facebook fan page.

About Meteorology (Back to top)

In general, where does weather data come from?
Weather data is collected from thousands of weather observing sites (usually airports) every hour all over the world. But it's also collected from pilot reports as they fly through unusual weather conditions, satellites circling the earth, ships at sea, ocean buoys above and below the water, ground based Doppler radars, ground based lightning detection systems and kind of like Ben Franklin did in 1752 on a stormy day in Philadelphia (1 hour South of Weather Trends HQ) sent up a kite only today we send up weather balloons with sophisticated weather measuring instruments all over the world twice a day all at the same time.
What is the difference between short term weather & long term weather?
Short term weather is usually defined as a 1-14 day forecast here in the U.S. but this varies depending on where in the world we live. A long range forecast might be 7 days for other parts of the world where longer term forecasts are not as common. We define long range forecasts as those from day 15 to day 360 ahead. The techniques used to generate each type of forecast are very different as short range techniques don't work well to make long term forecasts.
What is the difference between "Mostly Cloudy" and "Partly Cloudy"?
Kind of like the cup is half full or half empty depending if you're an optimist or pessimist but in this case there is a difference. The easiest way to understand the difference is if you part something, you're mostly something else. So when the forecast says partly cloudy it's actually mostly sunny or if it's mostly cloudy than it's only partly sunny. The very technical explanation from the National Weather Service (NWS) is:

Sunny = clear (at night) = less than 11% of sky has clouds.
Mostly Sunny = Mostly clear (at night) = 12% to 25% cloud cover.
Partly Sunny = Partly Cloudy (at night ) = 26% to 63% cloud cover.
Mostly Cloudy = Mostly Cloudy (at night) = 64% to 88% cloud cover.
Cloudy = Cloudy or Overcast (at night) = 88% to 100% cloud cover.