Computers: The Forecast Is for Accuracy

National Weather Service adds more science to an old art

You don't need a computer to tell which way the wind blows, but your local weather forecaster does. Twice a day a National Weather Service computer in Suitland, Md., provides meteorologists all over the country with the basic material for their predictions: temperature readings, weather maps, storm warnings. Though weathermen remain the objects of joking more than of genuflection, computers have steadily increased the accuracy of their forecasts by about half a percent a year over the past 15 years. Now, thanks to some new machinery being installed at NWS headquarters and...

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