Thursday, June 12, 2008

Paddling Forecast?

I want to pit Environment Canada (Weatheroffice) and Weathernetwork.com against each other and against reality to see who comes out on top. I am enrolled in a kayak course and this Saturday is the final session, to be held out at Pike Lake where we'll also be camping for the weekend. It would be great if it was nice and warm. That seems unlikely, but maybe we can hope for the rain to hold off? It seems lately that the forecast has been changing on a nearly hourly basis and that they really are having troubles getting it right. I also am no longer certain that what was the Canadian standard, Environment Canada, is any better than the competition, led by the Weathernetwork. Both of the forecasts below were downloaded at about 10:30 this morning.

Here is what Environment Canada is forecasting: Here is what Weathernetwork forecasts:
So for Saturday when we're on the water, Environment Canada says we will have "A mix of sun and cloud with 40 percent chance of showers. Low 7. High 16." For the same day Weathernetwork's forecast is actually pretty similar though they increase the high to 18C and decrease the chance of rain to 20%. This is a lot more similar than these two forecasters have been in the past. I will follow up with this and post an update of how this forecast changes over the next day or so, and how things actually shape up.

12/6/08 - 9:05 pm Update: Environment Canada has modified it's forecast for tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday. For Friday's forecast they have reduced the chance of showers to 40%, and reduced the forecast high to 19C. Fairly small changes. However for Saturday, the chance of rain (40%) has been removed entirely and the forecast now is simply for "showers". Great.

13/6/08 - 10:20 am Update:
Environment Canada:


Today - Day: Cloudy. 70 percent chance of showers. Wind northwest 20 km/h. High 18. UV index 4 or moderate.
Night: Cloudy. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 10.
Saturday - Cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers in the morning and early in the afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h late in the morning. High 18.
Sunday - Sunny. Low 7. High 21.
Monday - Sunny. Low 8. High 22.
Tuesday - A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of showers. Low 11. High 25.

Weather Network: Same forecast as before but the chance of rain is back to 40%. Sunday looks good though.

Update: 17/06/08 - The weekend was wet. Friday turned out pretty nice, but we got some rain in the evening. Saturday, the rain was periodic through the day and we were graced by a thunderstorm passing just to the north of us during our kayak lessons. In the evening it began to really rain and continued to do so for about 3 hours, ending about 10 pm. I think we had well over an inch of rain during the day. Unfortunately, due to the soggy conditions and the poorly graded tent site (we had the best spot in our camp site) we had water come up through the bottom of our tent and our sleeping bags got damp. The following is for the Saskatoon airport, about 50 km north of where we were. I'm just copying and pasting it in so excuse the imperfect formatting.

SASKATOON DIEFENBAKER INT'L A
SASKATCHEWAN

Latitude:52° 10.200' NLongitude:106° 43.200' WElevation:503.80 m
Climate ID:4057120WMO ID:71866TC ID:YXE
Hourly Data Report for June 14, 2008
T
i
m
e
Temp
°C
Dew Point Temp
°C
Rel Hum
%
Wind Dir
10's deg
Wind Spd
km/h
Visibility
km
Stn Press
kPa
Hmdx

Wind Chill

Weather

00:00 8.6 7.9 95 32 9 24.1 94.88

Mostly Cloudy
01:00 7.6 7.1 97 5 11 24.1 94.89

Mostly Cloudy
02:00 6.5 6.4 99 7 11 24.1 94.86

Mainly Clear
03:00 6.4 6.4 100 26 9 24.1 94.89

Mostly Cloudy
04:00 5.4 5.4 100 24 4 16.1 94.89

Mostly Cloudy
05:00 6.2 6.2 100 21 4 16.1 94.90

Cloudy
06:00 7.4 7.4 100 24 7 16.1 94.92

Cloudy
07:00 9.0 9.0 100 29 6 16.1 94.97

Cloudy
08:00 9.8 9.7 99 28 11 16.1 95.01

Rain Showers
09:00 10.8 9.7 93 30 9 16.1 95.01

Rain Showers
10:00 11.6 10.4 92 30 7 16.1 95.01

Rain Showers
11:00 13.2 9.9 80 30 9 24.1 94.98

Mostly Cloudy
12:00 14.6 9.6 72 34 9 24.1 94.98

Mostly Cloudy
13:00 18.3 9.9 58 32 17 24.1 94.97

Cloudy
14:00 18.4 9.9 58 31 19 24.1 94.96

Mostly Cloudy
15:00 19.4 9.1 51 31 17 24.1 94.94

Mostly Cloudy
16:00 16.1 10.3 68 32 26 24.1 94.98

Rain Showers
17:00 11.1 10.8 98 3 9 2.4 95.13

Thunderstorms, Heavy Rain Showers, Fog
18:00 10.9 10.9 100 30 7 2.4 95.16

Moderate Rain, Fog
19:00 11.1 11.1 100
0 24.1 95.18

Rain
20:00 11.4 11.4 100 31 6 12.9 95.24

Rain
21:00 11.2 11.2 100 30 4 9.7 95.29

Rain
22:00 11.1 11.1 100 23 4 16.1 95.37

Cloudy
23:00 10.7 10.7 100 8 17 24.1 95.42

Cloudy