Will it snow? AccuWeather’s silly but savvy 45-day Super Bowl forecast


Screenshot of WillItSnow.com (AccuWeather.com)

If you’re headed to Super Bowl 48 at Met Life Stadium, bundle up, but leave your foul weather gear at home.  AccuWeather calls for a high of 36, a low of 18, with just a chance of a flurry.

Of course, anyone who has read this blog knows I think 45-day forecasts are absurd and have no scientific legitimacy.  And, using real data, we’ve demonstrated this point.

(To repeat a point we often make: weather forecasts for a particular location are only credible out to about 6-10 days.  Beyond about 10 days, you enter the realm of chaos in which humans and computers simply can’t tell you if, when and where a storm will hit.)

Surely, AccuWeather appreciates the insurmountable limitations of such long-range forecasts. Yet undeterred, they have unveiled a slick, entertaining Web site devoted to Super Bowl forecasts – with the catchy URL “WillItSnow.com“.

Related: Accuweather: You cannot be serious (new 45-day forecasts) | AccuWeather’s 45-day forecast fails to impress in multi-city test

The site not only includes a daily updated forecast, but also commentary from several of its meteorologists, video discussions, and related articles.

Despite my aversion to forecasts beyond 10-days and claims that they’re useful, I think this Web site is a really smart move on AccuWeather’s part from an entertainment standpoint.

In “WillItSnow.com”, AccuWeather has created a destination that weather and sports fans can visit each day to see how the forecast is evolving and enjoy the related banter from its weather personalities.

It’s well-designed (much moreso than its parent site, AccuWeather.com) and has that sticky quality that will bring visitors back.

As long as readers recognize the Web site is more about entertainment than science, it’s a fun concept.  Of course, some visitors who don’t know any better may take these forecasts at face value. Unfortunately, AccuWeather includes no disclaimers about the reliability of these long-range forecasts.  I’d encourage AccuWeather to do this, but I’m not holding my breath…

Some people predicted AccuWeather would try a ploy like this.

 

Now that was a good prediction!

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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Jason Samenow · December 18, 2013

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