Storm forecasting; Weather Underground vs. National Weather Service 

I’ve noticed that Weather Underground tends to overlook storms in Seattle WA.  On the other hand, NWS predictions are careful to highlight storms, projecting conditions as bad or worse than the weather we actually get.  The Friday / Saturday October 14-15 storm got typical coverage from these services.  Compare the Friday morning predictions:

Weather Underground predicted winds of 27 to 30 MPH.  But NWS predicted gusts of 41 and 55 MPH, highlighting risky weather and providing a special statement about it.  What really happened:

Gusts under 40, closer to the Weather Underground forecast.  Still, there was a fair amount of damage.  If you had relied on Weather Underground, you might have gotten a nasty surprise.

My conclusion; I’d rather prepare for something bad that doesn’t happen (or anyway isn’t that bad) than be blindsided.  I’ll enjoy Weather Underground’s cool chart when the weather is mild.  But when it gets feisty I’m jumping over to NWS.


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