Saturday, August 13, 2005

the quarter game

at the office sometimes we (i, mostly, although wxdog taught it to me) use a powerful forecast training tool.

it's called the quarter game.

the premise is this: you are allowed to use any information sources you like (be they the spc, the paspc, models, real data, whatever) and you are given a deadline. at the deadline you draw a quarter-sized circle on a map where you think the most (reported) severe weather will occur. anywhere in north america. the maps we use are sized such that a quarter's diameter is approximately 200 km, maybe a bit more.

the bet varies, but the standard is that each person puts in the quarter he/she circled and the winner takes all the quarters. recently i've been getting ice cream for the winner. other times it's just a friendly bet for pride, but the point is that it serves as a powerful learning tool as to what works and what doesn't for forecasting severe weather.

today i'm duking it out with eze, and as of this posting i'm marginally ahead. he has 7 reports and i have 8. but mostly it's fun to watch our forecasts turn out right or wrong and then to figure out why.

and for the record, sometimes i win and sometimes i lose. but everyone learns. and that's really what it's all about.


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