Sunday, February 25, 2024 Feb 25, 2024
63° F Dallas, TX
Ranking Stuff

Dallas Weather Really Is Unpredictable

So go ahead and wait a few minutes for it to change.
By Ali Finney |

You’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it: “Don’t like the weather? You’re in luck! Stick around five minutes and it’ll change…”

Turns out, the old adage wasn’t too far off base when it comes to Dallas. Nate Silver and Reuben Fischer-Baum at Five Thirty Eight set out to determine which cities had the most unpredictable weather using a formula that measured how far temperatures strayed from what long-term averages would suggest the weather should be like. They write:

Meteorologists call these long-term averages climatology. Weather forecasting has moved beyond climatology to embrace more sophisticated techniques, but in some cities climatology does extremely well on its own. Take the case of Phoenix, for example….On a typical day in Phoenix, the high temperature deviated from the long-term average by only 5 to 6 degrees. You could plan a wedding or golf tournament in Phoenix years in advance and be reasonably confident of what the temperature would be.

This wouldn’t be true for Denver. Over the past three years, climatology has missed the high temperature there by 9 to 10 degrees on average. And misses of 20 degrees or more, which almost never happen in Phoenix, have occurred, on average, once every other week in Denver.

Silver and Fischer-Baum did this across ten measures related to temperature (highs, lows, and daily means); precipitation (rainfall, snowfall, and a binary variable that accounted for the lack of precipitation); and severe weather (wind speed, humidity, cloud cover, and another binary variable for whether an event occurred). They gathered data from 120 cities around the United States.

The results? Among major metropolises, Dallas came in number 10 for unpredictable weather.

  1. Kansas City, Missouri
  2. Oklahoma City
  3. Minneapolis
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Indianapolis
  6. St. Louis
  7. Birmingham, Alabama
  8. Boston
  9. Milwaukee
  10. Dallas

What do you think? Is Dallas weather truly that unpredictable?

Related Articles

Arts & Entertainment

Here’s Your Opinionated Guide to the Dallas Symphony’s Upcoming Season

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra just revealed its new season. There are plenty of big booming shows, but also more reflective options, too.

D Magazine’s 50 Greatest Stories: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told

There is a good chance you won't read anything better this week than "The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever."
Local News

A Dismal Snapshot of the First Three Days of Early Primary Voting

Fewer than 2 percent of Dallas County's registered voters have cast early primary ballots. Early voting ends on March 1.