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sep 03 2007

How accurate is the weather forecast?

Take The Weather Channel, for instance. How reliable is it? Well, it correctly predicts rainfall and temperatures about three out of four times.** All the other major weather companies and the National Weather Service are about as accurate for forecasts predicting rainfall and temperatures roughly 24 to 48 hours in advance.

The statistic comes from Eric Floehr. He should know, because his company, ForecastWatch, calculates how accurate forecasts are and sells the data to meteorologists and other companies.

In your hometown, meteorologists may be more or less accurate than the national average, given the stability of your local conditions. You can use ForecastAdvisor.com, a website for consumers instead of companies, to plug in your Zip Code and see how accurate the top weather companies and the National Weather Service are at predicting your local weather.

**According to an e-mail exchange with Eric Floehr, "Obviously there are a lot of caveats to that statement. For example, what exactly does "correctly" mean? But I think that's more detail than your readers really care about."

Photo by Nicholas T. See more of his photos on his Flickr profile page.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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