As we start a new contest year, this is the best month to get involved as a new or returning (to our contest) forecaster. We have a steady turnout of about 20 to 25 but we would welcome a larger field. The benefits for you would include the fun of competing and once you're involved, regular updates on the developing trends of each month. Okay then, here's the contest which will be unchanged in format from previous years.
1. Predict the IMT (Irish mean temperature, an average for five stations, Casement, Claremorris, Mullingar, Oak Park and Shannon). The 1981-2010 "normal" value is 5.1 C.
2. Predict the MAX, the highest daily maximum at any reporting station as confirmed at end of month in the Monthly Summary.
3. Predict the MIN, the lowest daily minimum at any reporting station as confirmed at end of month in the Monthly Summary.
4. Predict the PRC, the average rainfall expressed as percentage of normal at the eleven stations we normally use, which include the five mentioned for IMT and also Ballyhaise, Belmullet, Malin Head, Johnstown Castle, Cork and Valentia.
5. Predict the SUN, the total sunshine expressed as a percentage of normal at the six stations used (Belmullet, Casement, Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Valentia).
6. For the BONUS question, predict the highest wind gust (knots) at any of the regularly reporting locations (those seen in "yesterday's weather" on the met.ie website). No date or location required. I have the link to that section here:
Deadline for entries will be 0300h Wednesday 1st of January, with a relaxed penalty timetable for January. Normally we go with 1 point deductions for every 3h late to 1500h 2nd, after which penalties are 1 point per hour (in addition to the 12 points accumulated to that time). But for January, the late penalties will be one point for every six hours to that same cutoff, after which 1 point per hour (in addition to 6 points accumulated to that time), but picking up to 2 points towards the end of the countdown to terminate at the usual time (0700h of the 6th). If a late entry gains any advantage on a specific portion of the contest, a further 5 point deduction may be applied (for example, correctly stating that a wind observation on the 2nd will be the monthly maximum in an entry timed after that observation).
Good luck !!