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Roberta J. Witty
Research VP
11 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Roberta Witty is a research VP in Gartner Research, where she is part of the Compliance, Risk and Leadership group. Her primary area of focus is business continuity management and disaster recovery. Ms. Witty is the role specialty lead for… Read Full Bio

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The Europeans Have It: More Power and Better Data Wins in Weather Forecasting

by Roberta J. Witty  |  February 8, 2013  |  Comments Off

Not many of us paid a lot of attention to the weather forecasting systems that the meteorologists use. When we did in the U.S., we were very cynical because the meteorologists just didn’t seem to get it right, almost to the point of the forecasts being a joke. But Superstorm Sandy quickly brought the problem to light: the European system predicted a direct hit on NYC 3 days before the U.S. system did, which was the same day of the storm – a bit too late I would say. WOW! Why?

There is a rather significant difference between the two: the European system has faster computers, more data and better initialization data. This blog post from and video from the Today Show explains it all.

Fortunately for the U.S., the Europeans are allowing us to use their data, and have helped us figure out why the U.S. model isn’t performing as well. But it will take time and money to fix. So when planning your next outdoor party, make sure the forecast you consult is from the European model.

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