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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 09/13/2011

Dissecting the daily digit: Forecaster averages, nice days, and best commentary (Part II)


Average daily digit values assigned by Capital Weather Gang’s team of forecasters
The torrential rains that flooded many parts of the D.C. area last week are a good reminder that our daily weather can range anywhere from pleasant to uncomfortable, calm to disruptive, and benevolent to life-threatening. Moreover, weather evokes different responses from different people: some like the heat; others prefer it cold (or somewhere in between). And in the precipitation department, rain and snow both have their enthusiasts and detractors.

In my last post I analyzed the history of Capital Weather Gang’s (CWG) daily digit: the subjective rating of Washington’s day-to-day weather on a 0-10 scale. Today we’ll take a look at forecaster averages, our awarding of ‘Nice Day’ badges, and our forecasters’ most memorable daily digit comments.

Forecaster averages

As discussed in Part I of this series, our average daily digit in the past two years has been 5.8. Where does our team of meteorologists land on this spectrum?

Each of our seven forecasters falls close to the average, with Matt rating the weather most critically (5.2), and Ian most leniently (6.3). Jason, our chief meteorologist, matches the running average perfectly. Coincidence? You decide.

Forecaster averages are of course influenced by “luck of the draw,” meaning that Matt’s forecasts may have coincided with more lousy weather than Ian’s. Alternatively, does Ian rate the weather most generously because he forecasts on Saturdays? Yes and no. While there is inevitably a touch of grade inflation on weekend forecasts, we try not to let the day of the week color our appreciation or dislike towards the weather outside (Camden’s Friday forecasts earn lower marks than David’s Thursdays, for example).

Nice days - and not so nice ones

The Capital Weather Gang’s ‘nice day sun’ predates the daily digit. Many readers have asked about the frequency of our ‘perfect tens’ and ‘nice days.’ On the flip side, we’ve been asked which days were assigned a zero.

Since the daily digit debuted in December 2009, our forecasters have awarded 86 days the Nice Day badge:

* 42 were perfect tens
* 24 earned a digit of 9/10 (out of 37 ‘nines’ total)
* 17 earned a digit of 8/10 (out of 60 ‘eights’ total), and 3 nice days scored only 7/10 (out of 95 days earning a 7/10).
* Until recently, all days awarded a ‘10’ also received nice day status – until one of our forecasters broke the trend on August 31 (I won’t name any names!).
* Greatest consecutive number of perfect tens assigned: 4 (Oct. 7-10, 2010 and May 9-12, 2011)

On the other end of the spectrum, 3 of our more than 600 forecasts were assigned a ‘zero.’ Contrary to popular belief, none of these occurred during Snowmageddon. The winners in D.C.’s weather race to the bottom are:

* A cold, rainy day in the 30s (1/17/2010)
* A cold, windy day after D.C. ended up in a snow hole (12/27/2010)
* Sweat Ceiling 2011: the day the heat index hit 121F in D.C.

Best digit commentary

To conclude Part II of the Daily Digit Series, I’ve included some of CWG’s most creative and entertaining digit comments. As always, we love to hear your feedback.

Trying to cross the line…

No one likes rain in January. This one would go negative if I could.
- Brian, 1/17/10 (digit: 0)

Speaking on behalf of snow lovers…

Yes, it’s disruptive, but a fresh, whitened landscape is glorious.
- Jason, 1/30/10 (digit: 6)

Weather with a financial twist…

The only way it would improve today is if it rained $100 bills!
- Brian, 4/11/10 (digit: 10)

From CWG’s hardest grader (but don’t nice days have to start cool?)

Could’ve been a full “10” if not for the crisp morning air.
- Matt, 4/29/10 (digit: 9)

Best foreshadowing (of what was yet to come)…

Hot, humid, and dry. I sense an unwelcome pattern here.
- Jason, 6/19/10 (digit: 5)

Most likely to generate a heated response…

“Above normal” is the new normal.
- Brian, 7/28/10 (digit: 5)

Maybe not the best advice?

Call in sick! Amazing mid-70s to near 80 with sun and light winds. Autumn at its finest!
- Camden, 10/8/10 (digit: 10)

Most biblical…

A pretty crummy day but at least it isn’t cold. I figure two is appropriate since a few places may need an ark.
- David, 3/11/11 (digit: 2)

Wittiest?

Not too hot, not too cold. Just right, and you don’t even have to eat porridge.
- David, 4/7/11 (digit: 10)

Best daily digit alliteration…

A plethora of pleasantry. Today is just like yesterday!
- Matt, 5/10/11 (digit: 10)

Divine weather for the end of the world…

Plenty of sun, warm with humidity levels that aren’t a bother & it’s the weekend! Best judgment day ever?
- Ian, 5/21/11 (digit: 9)

A not-so-really cold front...

Amazing: Around 10 degrees cooler than Friday only gets us down to the mid-90s. At least the heat index isn’t off the charts like last heat wave.
- Dan, 7/30/11 (digit: 3)

Final thoughts

We all have our own preferences as to what constitutes ‘nice weather.’ You may find our subjective ratings of the weather either useful or meaningless and our digits too generous or too critical. If nothing else, the daily digit offers a personal touch to our forecasts, and illustrates just how weather affects our everyday lives.

Related Reading:

History of the Daily Digit
Rain and Sun’s Influence on Mood

By  |  10:20 AM ET, 09/13/2011

Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest

 
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