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Extended Forecasts

Extended Forecasts

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My question: I can't find on your weather page where I can get a 14 day forecast. The seven day is great but is there anything longer in the forecast than that?

Thanks to all for your great work.

Terry N.


Here's the deal....forecasts more than 7 days are a total guessing game! Even 7 days is a lot! Seriously, don't put your money on the 7th day! So then the question is "If the 7th day isn't even accurate, why bother?". Basically, there are two parts to this answer, people want a 7 day forecast and that is good for ratings. Simple as that. If we had it our way, the forecast would probably be 5 days.

Hopefully I won't get in trouble for saying all this! Anyway, we make our forecasts based on numerical weather prediction models. Yes, some of them go out more than 7 days but they just aren't accurate. Models are constantly doing just that, modeling and predicting the future of our atmosphere. There is no way to predict it to be 100% accurate, that just will never happen, at least not in this life time. There are too many things going on in the atmosphere on so much of a smaller scale, models can't nail it all totally correctly and neither can we! We can try our best though, and that is what we do for you each day on the news.

What you want to look for though on the 6th to 7th day or if you want to go more out and look at some models or to another website that has a 10 day is just trends. You want to look for warmer or cooler trends, things like that. If we believed models past 7 days, you'd be at home going "OH MY GOSH!". They sometimes have serious extremes in them that just do not come to pass. I can't tell you how many times I look at at model and think, 'wow, that is really cold and snowy' and the next day, the model doesn't even have the same scenario at all or the temperatures have completely modified.

It's up to us as forecasters to interpret the models and to give you the best information. Models past 7 days just aren't accurate.

If you do need some climate forecasts though those are more broad as in "the summer will be drier" those are looking at different parameters than the regular forecast models we use on a day to day basis. Climate models are using sea surface temperatures along with global pressure flucations and things of that nature.

That's why the 7 day is only 7 days and no longer! As you get closer to the date of your event check the forecast at 7 days out and watch for trends. And clearly, there will be scenarios where we can predict a little bit more out than 7 days. Such as, if we had a major blocking high that wasn't moving, we'd be able to help you with that forecast.

Hopefully this helps clear up why 14 day forecasts are not on the website.

Answered by KSL Meteorologist Dina Freedman.

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