Weather predictions paint mixed picture

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WALLA WALLA — People love to predict things. Especially the weather.

Each month the National Weather Service puts out a climate summary that includes a prediction for what’s expected during the coming month in terms of temperature and precipitation.

So how accurate were the predictions?

Well, the score this year has been four correct predictions, six “half right, half wrong” forecasts and one completely wrong prediction. (Yes, that only adds up to 11 months, but the jury is still out on December.)

Here’s the hit and miss recap for 2012’s weather.

JANUARY — Prediction: Below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Both off. Average temperatures were slightly warmer than normal and precipitation was below normal.

The details: Average temperature was 37 degrees (1.5 degrees above normal). Average high was 45.2 degrees (4.3 degrees above normal). Average low was 28.7 degrees (1.4 degrees below normal). Precipitation totaled 2.34 inches (0.19 below normal).

FEBRUARY — Prediction: Near normal temperatures and precipitation.

What actually happened: Slightly wrong and wrong. Average temperatures were slightly colder than normal and precipitation was below normal.

The details — The average temperature was 38.6 degrees (0.5 degrees below normal). Average high was 44.7 degrees (1.2 degrees below normal). Average low was 32.5 degrees (0.3 degrees above normal). Precipitation totaled 1.39 inches (0.37 below normal).

MARCH — Prediction: Below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Dead on (or close enough). Average temperatures were slightly colder than normal and precipitation was well above normal.

The details — The average temperature was 45.5 degrees (0.8 degrees below normal). Average high was 54.5 degrees (0.7 degrees below normal). Average low was 36.5 degrees (0.9 below normal). Precipitation was 3.70 (1.40 above normal.)

APRIL — Prediction: Below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Half wrong, half right. Average temperatures were slightly warmer than normal while precipitation was well above normal.

The details — The average temperature was 53.3 degrees (1.1 degrees above normal). Average high was 64.1 degrees (1.6 degrees above normal). Average low was 42.6 degrees (0.7 degrees above). Precipitation was 3.73 (1.81 above normal.)

MAY — Prediction: Near normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Half (slightly) wrong, half right. Average temperatures were slightly colder than normal and precipitation was below normal.

The details — The average temperature was 58.3 degrees (1.1 degrees above normal). Average high was 69.5 degrees (0.9 degrees below normal). Average low was 47 degrees (1.3 degrees below normal). Precipitation was 0.84 (1.29 inches below normal.)

JUNE — Prediction: Below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Dead on. Average temperatures were colder than normal and precipitation was well above normal.

The dirty details — The average temperature was 63.5 degrees (3 degrees below normal). Average high was 74.3 degrees (4.5 degrees below normal). Average low was 52.8 degrees (1.4 below normal). Precipitation was 3.50 inches (2.22 inches above normal.)

JULY — Prediction: Near to above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Dead on. Average temperatures were near normal and precipitation was slightly below normal.

The details — The average temperature was 75.3 degrees (0.3 degrees above normal). Average high was 89.9 degrees (0.7 degrees above normal). Average low was 60.7 degrees (0.2 below normal). Precipitation was 0.50 (.09 below normal.)

AUGUST — Prediction: Near to above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Dead on. Average temperatures were slightly warmer than normal and precipitation was below normal.

The details — The average temperature was 76.1 degrees (1.9 degrees above normal). Average high was 91.2 degrees (3.1 degrees above normal). Average low was 61.1 degrees (0.7 above normal). Precipitation was .01 (.56 below normal.)

SEPTEMBER — Prediction: Near normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Half wrong, half right. Average temperatures were warmer than normal and precipitation was well below normal.

The details — The average temperature was 67.3 degrees (2.0 degrees above normal). Average high was 81.1 degrees (3.2 degrees above normal). Average low was 53.4 degrees (0.8 above normal). Precipitation was zero (.75 below normal).

OCTOBER — Above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Half right, half wrong. Average temperatures were slightly warmer than normal and precipitation was above normal.

The details — The average temperature was 53.8 degrees (0.5 degrees above normal). Average high was 64.4 degrees (0.9 degrees above normal). Average low was 43.1 degrees, which was normal. Precipitation was 2.66 inches (.98 above normal).

NOVEMBER — Prediction: Near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.

What actually happened: Half wrong, half right. Average temperatures were warmer than normal and precipitation was slightly above normal.

The details — The average temperature was 44.9 degrees (3.1 degrees above normal). Average high was 51.4 degrees (2.9 degrees above normal). Average low was 38.4 degrees (3.2 above normal). Precipitation was 2.90 (.03 above normal).

DECEMBER — Prediction: Near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

What actually happened: So far, this month’s prediction seems to be off on both counts with well above average temperatures and below-normal rainfall.

The details — As of Thursday the average temperature was 41.7 degrees, which is 8.2 degrees above normal. The average high was 48.1 degrees and the average low was 35.3 degrees. Precipitation was 1.84 inches (.34 below normal).

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