Sometimes it snows in spring. Other times, it can feel like summer in the middle of winter.
The weather can be so changeable, which is why forecasting can be tricky.
“Predicting weather in Alberta is especially tricky because of the Rocky mountains," says Chris Scott, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Systems that track from BC get disrupted by the mountains in BC and then reform as they emerge into central and southern Alberta and depending on exactly how the mountains give spin to the air, that dictates how precipitation and these systems develop.”
Inspired by Alberta’s weather, Michael Ross, a recent Masters in Engineering grad, decided to create a blog that monitors forecasting accuracy.
"I was talking with some friends and they all had different opinions on which weather station was most accurate for Edmonton, so I thought it might be pretty cool to check," says Ross. "They are all online, they are all easily available so I just started jotting down what they said each day and I took high temperature, low temperature and P.O.P prediction and then I just compared it to what actually happened.”
The findings in his unique experiment gave Ross a new perspective in the art and science of weather forecasting.
"I have found consistently for the last three seasons that The Weather Network is the most accurate, they got more accurate as it got closer to the day," says Ross.
He adds that looking into how difficult it is to nail down the weather and how accurate some people actually can be when it comes to that is all very fascinating.
“We still have trouble as we get out far in time and its still difficult to pin point small disturbances like thunderstorms, but forecasting will continue to improve as advancements in the science and computers take place over the next couple of years," explains Scott.