THE WEATHER GAME

UNIVERSITY OF READING


Instructions for The Weather Game

Welcome to The Weather Game, run by the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading. The aim of the game is to predict various aspects of the weather in four different locations around the world... one of which will vary each week. At the end of the competition, prizes will be awarded for the best forecaster in each category.

Registration

Before playing the game for the first time, you need to register. You should register under a pseudonym, containing no more than 30 characters. Alphanumeric characters, punctuation marks and spaces are allowed. Do not use the following characters: < > ,

. Players are encouraged to make their pseudonyms weather-related and fun, but please ensure your pseudonym is not potentially offensive or controversial. Your pseudonym is your username to login to the site.

You should choose a password of no more than 10 characters. For your own safety, please choose as password unique to this site, and ensure it is strong. This password is only for use with The Weather Game.

Please also select which forecaster category you belong to.

When you have completed all the details correctly, click on the "Accept" button. If you wish to clear the entire form and start again, click on the button marked "Clear".

If you forget your pseudonym or cannot remember exactly how it was typed (capitalistation of certain letters, punctuation, etc.), you can check it by looking at the list of players or by emailing us.


Where am I forecasting for?

You can check this out by looking at the map, and it will be clear when you go to make your entry. You will be forecasting for four different locations each week, three of which are fixed for every week, one of which will change week-to-week.

How do I know what to forecast?

You do not have to be an expert forecaster to do well in The Weather Game!

To start with, have a look at what is being forecast for each of the locations on some of the suggested websites below. As a first guess, you could just enter the values shown on one website - and you'd probably do fairly well. But as you become more confident, you can ask more questions and try to add some more human skill to your forecast - just like the experts do. Do the different forecasts agree? Why might they differ? Why might they be wrong?

Remember that you are forecasting for a fixed time (in GMT), and thus need to account for the time difference to the forecast location. Even the best of us have messed this up at some point.

The following links are just a small sample of websites where you can find weather forecast information. Check them out as a start:

Met Office BBC Weather Windy WxCharts ECMWF Global Analyses

Submitting an Entry

In order to submit an entry you must first enter your pseudonym and password. Click on "Accept" to proceed.

You will then be presented with an entry form for this week's forecast competition. Complete each of the fields as requested, typing only numbers, minus signs and decimal points in the boxes. Each entry should be to one decimal place (e.g. 12.3). The weather type for the tour location should be selected from the pull-down menu.

There is also the option to play the joker. This doubles your weekly score, and can only be played once. Try playing it when you are most confident your forecast will be successful. A common tactic is to play the joker when there is almost certainly no rainfall forecast.

When you have completed the form to your satisfaction, you may submit the entry. If you subsequently submit another entry for the same week, it will over-write the previous entry and only the most recent entry will be processed.

All entries for a particular week must be submitted by 19:00 UTC (that's 8pm British Summer Time) on the Friday preceeding that weekend. A list of the closing dates for each week is available.

The entries will be processed during the following week and points will be allocated to each player according to the scoring system.


Scoring and League Tables

Entries are verified against observations reported from the University of Reading Atmospheric Observatory, and those displayed on Ogimet. A league table is produced during the following week listing the current position and total score of each player. Personal scores may also be viewed through Personal Scores.


Problems

If you have any difficulties in using The Weather Game or if you detect any problems, please contact us.