Oneonta Forecast Contest Rules



1. Forecasts will be made Monday through Friday.  Enter your forecast before local midnight or it will not be accepted.


2. Verifications will be taken at 13Z (9 a.m. EDT or 8 a.m. EST).  No appeals of these verifications!


3. Use the web forecasting form at  

You must have a Usercode for the computer to recognize you.  See or e-mail Dr. Blechman for a Usercode (  There is no entry fee. When you enter your Usercode (and click the Enter button), you get a screen with the forecast form.  There are six numbers to forecast.

                It looks like this:







4. Forecast for Oneonta, using maps, the Weather Channel, guessing, crystal ball, etc.  Forecast the 24 hour maximum temperature, 24 hour minimum temperature, and 24 hour precipitation category.  The categories are shown on the forecast form.  Then repeat that for the 48 hour forecasts.  Note the verification times in #2 above.  The 24 hour forecast starts at 13Z tomorrow and runs through 13Z the next day at which point the 48 hour forecast starts.  Timing is very important, especially for minimum temperatures. The 48 hour minimum is often the last morning which is 72 hours away!


5. If you don’t forecast on a particular day, you will be assigned a persistence forecast.  This will probably not be to your benefit although if the weather is persistent, it could be very good once in a while.  Over the long term, persistence always finishes last so those who fail to forecast regularly will do badly.  You may deliberately take persistence without penalty.  There is no “guidance” forecast which can be taken by default.


6. You must make your own forecasts.  Please do not make forecasts in someone else’s name, even if they ask you to do that.  No phone-in forecasts, although, in an emergency or if the forecast form doesn’t work, you may occasionally e-mail in your forecast to



7. Scoring is as follows:

            One (1) point is assessed for each degree of temperature error, no matter which direction so if you are two degrees too high or two degrees too low, you get two points.  Three (3) points are assigned for each precipitation category error.


9. Results will be posted on the Oneonta State Forecasting Contest web page,  Despite the awards shown (Gold medal, Silver medal, Bronze medal), no actual medals are awarded.  Dr. Blechman will offer a personal award (lunch in Oneonta at the restaurant of your choice) if you beat him.


10. At semester’s end, the lowest error score is the winner.