When Will Winter End?

The Groundhog Has Nothing On Data Science.

How long will winter last? Although recent U.S. weather events make it seem like we’re in for a long winter, data indicates otherwise.


We developed predictive models for 10 major U.S. cities that deliver more precise insight into when winter will end. Using data science, Uptake’s weather experts forecast that winter will actually be an average length this year, with a few exceptions.

For years, people have made weather predictions with varying levels of success. Right or wrong, there was little consequence. A few-degree difference in temperature is often unnoticeable to people.


But for the industrial machines that build our world and keep our economy running, the smallest change in weather makes a big difference. For these machines to operate efficiently and safely, operators need precise weather and climate forecasts. Today, we can use data science to make increasingly accurate predictions by combining an abundance of satellite and ground-based sensor data.

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Prediction

02.25

Washington DC
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02.15 Earliest Possible

03.07 Latest Possible

02.27

Historical Average

Washington DC

Prediction

03.03

Salt Lake City
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02.20 Earliest Possible

03.14 Latest Possible

03.07

Historical Average

Salt Lake City

Prediction

03.14

Philadelphia
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02.28 Earliest Possible

03.28 Latest Possible

03.07

Historical Average

Philadelphia

Prediction

03.19

New York
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03.10 Earliest Possible

03.28 Latest Possible

03.15

Historical Average

New York

Prediction

03.22

Pittsburgh
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03.17 Earliest Possible

03.27 Latest Possible

03.25

Historical Average

Pittsburgh

Prediction

03.25

Boston
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03.21 Earliest Possible

03.29 Latest Possible

03.21

Historical Average

Boston

Prediction

03.29

Chicago
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03.18 Earliest Possible

04.09 Latest Possible

03.28

Historical Average

Chicago

Prediction

03.29

Detroit
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03.18 Earliest Possible

04.09 Latest Possible

03.29

Historical Average

Detroit

Prediction

04.03

Minneapolis
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03.24 Earliest Possible

04.13 Latest Possible

04.04

Historical Average

Minneapolis

Prediction

04.09

Denver
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03.24 Earliest Possible

04.25 Latest Possible

04.03

Historical Average

Denver

Findings

Punxsutawney Phil, The Legendary Groundhog Prognosticator , Provides A Six-week Window Of Uncertainty.

Uptake reduces that window and provides unique date predictions with correlating uncertainty levels specific to each location.

What causes uncertainty and what enables us to be more specific? Certain regions, like Philadelphia, are more exposed to the passage of warm maritime and cold continental air masses. Other regions are exposed to geography that moderates seasonal changes in the temperature and precipitation, like Chicago in the Great Lakes region.

A more precise prediction for the end of winter is achieved by leveraging climate teleconnections, which are simply climate anomalies that are related to each other at large distances. The most emblematic teleconnection is El Niño, a teleconnection that exists between anomalies of the sea surface temperatures on the tropical Pacific, and anomalies on temperature and precipitation over the United States. Our data models take into account values from 17 of these climate teleconnections, combining these into more than 300 model features to provide a superior prediction.

See how this impacts key industrial sectors around the world.