Weather 2000 - FAQ Title Graphic

Over the years we have received questions from our clients and the public regarding various weather topics. We have compiled and responded to some of the more frequently asked questions. These pages will continue to expand over time, and we welcome any additional weather related questions you might have at the following address:



  • Weather Derivatives / Data Issues

    • What is the difference between Official and Preliminary weather data for the U.S.?
    • What is the fastest and best way for me to obtain historical weather information, especially for settling Weather Derivatives contracts?
    • What are the differences between large and small weather observation stations?
    • Are some weather variables observed and recorded better than others?
  • El Niño / La Niña / ENSO

    • There has been so much discussion over the last several years about El Niño and now La Niña. Does that really affect the weather for my town?
    • Why doesn't the weather always pan out like an El Niño or La Niña year should?
    • Does El Niño and La Niña affect a region uniformly over the course of a season as indicated by analog forecasts?
  • Warming Trends / Urban Heat Island / Global Warming

    • We have seen a lot of hurricanes in recent years. Is the increase in tropical activity a result of global warming?
    • It doesn't seem like we experience those real brutal winters anymore. There has to be a warming trend, right?
    • For locations which have been substantially warm during the past decade, is the possibility of opposite cold conditions eliminated?
    • What is the Urban Heat Island Effect?
    • Is this why some cities were so incredibly hot the previous summers?
    • Could the Urban Heat Island Effect be skewing observations regarding global warming?
    • So will all locations just get warmer and warmer as time goes on?
  • Long Range Forecasting Capabilities

    • What is the difference between short, medium and long range forecasting?
    • Is the temporal resolution the same for all forecasts?
    • Are long range seasonal weather forecasts possible?
    • How far in the future are individual monthly and seasonal forecasts useful?
    • Are site specific long range forecasts more beneficial than using a recent 5 or 10 year average, or historical data adjusted (or "cleaned") for recent warming trends, or general seasonal outlooks for the entire country?
    • Are long range climate forecast maps (on the Internet and from other sources) useful for pin-pointing city specific forecasts?
    • What does it mean when seasonal forecasts indicate "Climatology", "CL", or are blank in certain areas?
    • Are "probability of exceedence" and automated forecasts more useful?
  • Scientific Integrity and Weather Forecasting Claims

    • I saw someone forecast that a Hurricane was going to hit Florida in a week to ten days. Can they know for sure?
    • I've heard that the weather can be forecasted for a single day several weeks from now, or a single week months from now. It sounds impressive, but is it really scientifically legitimate?
    • Are long range seasonal weather forecasts possible?
    • But with new research discoveries and computer models, isn't it possible that daily forecasting beyond two weeks will become possible in the future?
    • Speaking of chaos theory, is it possible that research in this field might make long-range daily predictions possible?
    • Can sunspots and other solar activity be used to predict long range weather?
    • So how can I determine if all of these extraordinary forecasting claims, new secret and "proprietary" techniques and discoveries are really all just fiction?