Welcome to the 2018 Boards weather forecast series ... we hope to see a few new entrants this year as well as all the regulars back for more of the MTC ritual torture (much of it self-inflicted as it turns out ...)
So if you're a regular you won't read this and if you're new you may need to read it twice ...
We ask five routine questions and add a bonus, and in this instalment I am adding the points structure for your interest.
1. Predict the IMT ("Irish Mean Temperature") which is the average for five selected locations (1981-2010 averages in brackets), namely Claremorris (4.9 C), Mullingar (4.6 C), Casement and Carlow Oak Park (both 5.1) and Shannon (6.0) for an overall "normal" mean of 5.1 ... this part is worth 25 points and you lose one point per 0.1 deg error.
2. Predict the MAX (highest temperature from recorded daily highs from the 25 regular reporting stations on the met.ie website), the normal value is set at 13.0. This is worth 20 points and errors of 0.1 reduce your score from that value.
3. Predict the MIN (lowest temperature ... see 2 above ... value is set at -7.0 and this is also worth 20 points, same error reductions.
4. Predict the PRC (precip in mm, which includes the liquid equivalent of snowfall on average 10 cm snow reduces to 10 mm precip, and we use eleven stations to determine this average, the five mentioned in part 1 above, and also Malin Head, Belmullet, Ballyhaise, Cork, Valentia, and Johnstown Castle. Average amounts for your guidance would be 60 to 150 mm, probably around 110 mm for the eleven station mean, but in any case your forecast should be a percentage not an actual amount. 100% would mean you expect normal amounts, 200% means twice normal etc. This part is worth 15 points and you lose 1 point for every 3% (rounded off) of error, so let's say you predict 90% and reality is 106%, that's 16/3 or 5 (rounded off) deducted so you score 10.
5. Predict the SUN which is also a percentage of normal sunshine at six selected locations (Belmullet, Casement, Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Valentia). In January, the daily average is near 2 hours a day to give you some idea, there doesn't have to be a summery spell to push above that. This portion is worth 10 points, and errors are calculated in increments of 5% rounded off; for example, if you predict 80% and reality is 92%, then you lose 12/5 points which rounds off to 2, and you score 8.
6. Each month there is a bonus question worth 10 points. These are scored in rank order and the absolute error does not matter much, although I use it to determine how to cluster the scores when I need to have more than an equal number on one score.
This month (the adept regulars will have scrolled down to here to avoid my lecture above) the bonus question asks you to predict the strongest sustained wind and gust speed in knots. Locations for both (they could be different) will be worth a point each if correct and the two values will be scored out of 4. You can earn superbonus points here -- 4+4+1+1 will get 2 superbonus, any combination that reaches nine will get 1 superbonus.
Here's my forecast (which I may edit by the deadline), use this as a template but change all the numbers or locations to those you want to predict.
It helps me organize the tables faster if people use this template as shown (name first) ...
M.T. Cranium _________ 4.2 __ 13.3 __ --8.0 __ 115 __ 119 __ 55,80 (Mace, Malin)
(that last part means I expect a sustained wind max of 55 knots at Mace Head and a top gust to 80 knots at Malin Head.)
Note: The wind speeds must occur at one of the 25 regular met.ie sites, not Fastnet Lighthouse or your hand-held aneomometer on top of a mountain.
Deadline for on-time entries is always 0300h of 1st day of each month.
Late penalties are going to be slightly relaxed for 2018. They were running 1 point per 3h late, now it will be 1 point per 4h late to 1500h 2nd followed by 1 point per hour after that (9 points would be accumulated by then).
And for New Years, I will further relax the late penalties to 1 point any time before 1500h, then further points every six hours , so it's only going to be five accumulated points by 2nd (1500h), however, any prediction of MAX, MIN or wind speed that matches a value available to a late entrant will attract the same penalties. This continues on with the larger penalties after the 3rd so if you wanted to wait until let's say the 6th to nail those wind predictions, you would be looking at such massive penalties that you might score negative, and when people do that, we have a minimum score of 10/100 for any entry.
Regulars also know these details -- there are two annual competitions, one is the Boards award which is based on your ten best scores out of however many you have (10, 11 or 12 are needed to qualify). Then there's the MTC Award going to the highest total score, you can try your luck with 11/12 but it usually takes the full set to top the field in this one. And we keep track of seasonal efforts too, unfortunately for new talent, December 2017 counts towards winter in this four seasons award and you're already d.q.'d from that season if you didn't enter December.
One final note (again known to our regular crew) ... scores for any element that fall below a defined "minimum progression" get boosted to that minimum progression. This is to equalize monthly scoring for the purposes of dropping two low scores, we don't want everyone to be dropping the same months. However, you can gain an advantage here by scoring within 2 points of the maximum in any category, then if others need a boost, they only get half of the usual increase. Here's an example, let's say rainfall is only 40% and almost everyone predicts above 80, but one clever soul predicts 46%. They get a raw score of 13/15. With minimum progression, that's boosted to 15, but every other boost is cut in half. The next closest forecast might be 81% which would be worth only 1 point in raw scoring. Normally that would go to 14, but in this case the 13 point boost is cut in half to 7 and they get 8 points. Etc etc. This has happened once or twice, it rewards those who are daring and get it close. But in my example, if somebody had gone for 56% (raw score 10/15) then while they would still get the max (15) the next closest would go to 14. (note also, for SUN the highest score must be 9/10 or 10/10 to activate the reduced min prog; for bonus, this feature does not apply; also, minimum progression cannot lower your raw score so it can be applied to some portions of the scoring).
Well, good luck and I hope to see some new entrants enjoying our fun contests, you'll be surprised at the skill level of Con Sensus, gender unknown, often quite close to the mark, NormaL not so much (except maybe this month of Dec 2017).
Scoring is posted within 3-4 days of month end and is based on official data provided in Met Eireann's "Monthly Summary" as well as notes taken from daily and weekly summaries.
Stations on the East Coast are generally drier than those on the West.
In January, Baldonnel expects about 65mm and Valentia 175mm.
Were we to have an extra 65mm at Baldonnel, would that increase Baldonnel's contribution to 200%?
However, if that same 65mm were to fall at Valentia, would that increase Valentia's total to just 137% (175+65)*100/175)?
Or do you just add all the rainfall totals together for the entire country?
In the first half of the year, there is less daylight in the first half of the month. In March this is about 2 hours in each station between the 1st & 30th March.
Perhaps, I were to think that we were to get unending sunshine from 1-15 March, and totally cloudy from 16-30 March.
Would I propose that there would be exactly 50% sunshine, or would I expect less than 50%, as there is greater daylight in the second half of the month?
And how many Angels can dance on the head of a needle?
Bsal _________ 4.9 __ 12.8 __ --7.0 __ 125 __ 102 __ 53,71 (Belmullet, Mace Head)
To answer your last question:
plenty, uncountable many when holding hands
john mac_________ 4.9 __ 12.9__ -5.9 __ 105__ 98 __ 46,70 (Mace, knock)
sryanbruen _________ 4.6 __ 13.2 __ -8.0 __ 110 __ 90 __ 50,70 (Mace, Malin)
Kindred Spirit. ___ 4.9 ___ 12.9 ___ -7.0 ___ 112 ___ 92 ___ 50, 80 (Malin Head, Belmullet.)
dasa29 _________ 5.0 __ 13.5 __ --6.0 __ 120 __ 100 __ 45,55 (Sherkin island, Malin Head)
Joe Public _________ 2.9 __ 13.6 __ -9.4 __ 102 __ 115 __ 57,78 (Belmullet, Malin)
sunflower3 _________ 4.8 __ 13.4 __ -6.0 __ 120 __ 95 __ 55, 68 (Malin, Malin)
DOCARCH _________ 4.3 __ 14.1 __ -7.1 __ 85 __ 110 __ 52,69 (Malin, Malin)
sdanseo _________ 4.0 __ 13.3 __ -9.8 __ 103 __ 111 __ 53,70 (Mace, Belmullet)
rikand ..... 5.0 ..... 13.5 ..... -6.0 ..... 90 ..... 120 ..... 58, 85 (mace, sherkin)
Lumi _________ 4.5 __ 14.1 __ -8.5 __ 110 __ 90 __ 51,79 (Malin Head, Sherkin Island)