DEBATE: The Heady Formula

Is the theory unfounded?

  • Votes: 0 0.0%

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Dec 10, 2003
Great Plains
This is an article written about a cheif meteorologist in Missouri.

He has a belief in a cyclical pattern that he says is accurate. He believes he has made a "major prediction discovery", according to the article.

So. In the opinion of all or our meteorologists, grad students, chasers, and learners, is he onto something... or has he had too much lasagna last night?
He's posted a lengthy thread in the TV met forum. Basically it appears that he considers anything that happens within a few days of his forecast to be a hit, which is how he claims 95% accuracy. But no, it's not really sound to say that the pattern matches a 60-day cycle.
I think its too early to dismiss it out of hand, and with tweaking it may become more accurate than the +- 4 days. However, I'm still skeptical as always and I'll believe it when I see it for sure.
Sounds like a news story and not a paper of any kind with any proof, so at the moment -- I'm a skeptic. If he had the proof there...well researched and documented, then I may be a little more intrigued.

Why does it even pay to know the weather that far out...except maybe for a storm chaser looking to nab the right time to hop down to the plains? It's not like people are going to need to plan to bring the umbrella along 5 weeks from now.

I was almost inclined to believe it :roll: until I read this...

Feb. 4.
A big weather system will be coming in for the weekend. Expect rain on Saturday, Feb. 4, with temperatures dropping overnight, and rain turning to snow on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5.

Can't even get it right for 4 days out, why try for 30 days out? It seems a little incredible to me...
Since it seems that this is more of a thought exercise than some "formula" as stated, it's pretty damaging to their arguments that the mid-summer months can't be used (if really, truly is cyclic then the pattern would go through or at least some adjustment probably could be seen). Further, saying the weather is rather chaotic during those months doesn't sound right either: in summer (or winter for our S. Hemisphere friends), especially mid-summer, the weather is usually the same (unless there is some monsoon circulation going on regionally--but really the monsoon would make the weather similar).
Well, I was pretty skeptical after reading the firsts part of the article. However after seeing the actual forecast product I am really not all that impressed. After all he is not exactly forecasting highs to the degree and precip to the hundredth. After getting a 'heady' start with the 16 day GFS and then seeing the upstream weather in the last panel I suspect anyone who watches the model daily would be able to be as accurate "highs in the 30's and 40's".
He's posted a lengthy thread in the TV met forum. .;t=004895;p=1

That's the forum rdale referenced.

I do have to say that I've watched Doug since he started at KOAM, which was right after I left, and I do think his theory is rather interesting.

I can vouch for him and say that his monthly outlooks have been pretty high in accuracy, not sure if he's onto something or maybe it's just coincidence and luck.
Heady Formula

I would not get excited about this until it has been peer-reviewed and published in the BAMS or NWA's Wx and Fcstg.
So far he's done pretty bad - temps are wrong (but he says those aren't important) and he forecast snow for Sunday/Monday that didn't happen. But he says a low pressure system passed near MO, and therefore he scores as a hit. Even though they stayed dry.