Precipitation Chances in Forecasts:

    I usually express rain chances in percent chance probabilities. For instance, if I say that there is a 20% percent chance of rain for a hypothetical period of time (such as a day), I believe that it would rain 1 out of every 5 hypothetically identical days. 40% = 2/5 or 2 out of every 5 of those hypothetically identical days, etc.

Wind Direction in Forecasts:

    When I give a wind direction in my forecasts, it means that the wind is coming FROM that direction (as opposed to going TO). This is standard in meteorology.

Temperature in Forecasts:

    When I give a high or low temperature in my forecasts, I mean the peak or minimum temperature of that time period respectively. I only use "high" temperature for daytime, and low temperature at nighttime. In some situations, I will give a temperature range. For example, on most Fridays, the first day of most campouts, the high temperature has already come and gone.

Forecast Updates:

    In a complex scenario, I usually update my forecasts every day. Otherwise, I do it as needed. I always say the last time that there was a forecast update near the top of my forecast page.

Forecast confidence: 

    I now provide a scale to display my level of confidence in every Troop forecast. It takes into account the amount time between the forecast creation and the time period I am forecasting for. Usually, the farther out you are forecasting, the harder it is to do.

 -10  -9  -8  -7  -6  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1  0  +1  +2  +3  +4  +5  +6  +7  +8  +9  +10

    Negative numbers represent below average confidence, zero means average, and positive means higher than normal confidence. The number I choose to represent my forecast confidence will be underlined from now on.

Forecast Layout:

    I have standardized the layout of the forecasts. They are organized in this manner:

  1. There will be a line of text displaying what the forecast is for and when the forecast is in effect.
  2. There will be a line of text displaying the date and time of the most recent forecast.
  3. There may be, depending on the complexity of the scenario, a discussion regarding the situation, possible outcomes, and why I favor one outcome or the other. There may also be images in this section.
  4. There will be a breakdown of that discussion conveying my predicted wind speeds, wind direction, precipitation probability, and the temperature.
  5. There will be my forecast confidence scale.
  6. There will be my contact information at the bottom.

Information Sources:

    I use a large number of sources to formulate my predictions. Here are some of the most commonly used sources in my forecasts:

  1. For my computer model analyses I usually use the GFS Full Resolution, the NAVGEM, and the ECMWF. I use this site to view that data: http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ This does not include the ECMWF, which can only be found on specialty sites.
  2. I also use this site for many of my computer model needs: www.twisterdata.com
  3. I use the products on this page to analyze the current weather conditions: http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/
  4. I sometimes compare my forecasts to the forecasts of the National Weather Service to see what they are thinking relative to my thoughts.
  5. I always read and view the products issued by the National Weather Service such as the Hazardous Weather Outlooks and surface analyses issued daily among other advisories.
  6. I use GR2Analyst radar software on my computer to analyze the current weather scenario as well. It downloads radar data from this server: http://mesonet-nexrad.agron.iastate.edu/level2/raw/ 
  7. In the event of an impending tropical cyclone (a hurricane of tropical storm) that even only MIGHT interfere with something Troop related, I will make forecasts including path and intensity using all of the above sources.