Auctions and weather

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One thing that auctioneers learn early in their careers is to adapt to the weather. Are tents going to be needed? Will the parking lot of grass be usable? Will property be able to be put outside at all?

As such, many auctioneers become amateur weather forecasters or analysts. As an auctioneer, I watch the weather reports online and on television almost every week, and attempt to plan accordingly.

Yet, all this planning relies on accurate weather predictions. I think a fair question is, “Is there such a thing as an accurate weather forecast?” Does anyone know what the weather will be several days from now?

Take a look at this online weather forecast for the Canal Winchester / Groveport, Ohio area, noting the chance of rain (our primary concern) for Wednesday, August 27, 2014 as predicted beginning Thursday, August 21, 2014, and each day following between about 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.:

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Intellicast forecast published Thursday, August 21, 2014 showing the chance of rain for Wednesday, August 27, 2014: 20%


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Intellicast forecast published Friday, August 22, 2014 showing the chance of rain for Wednesday, August 27, 2014: 20%


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Intellicast forecast published Saturday, August 23, 2014 showing the chance of rain for Wednesday, August 27, 2014: 80%.


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Intellicast forecast published Sunday, August 24, 2014 showing the chance of rain for Wednesday, August 27, 2014: 60%.


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Intellicast forecast published Monday, August 25, 2014 showing the chance of rain for Wednesday, August 27, 2014: 30%.


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Intellicast forecast published Tuesday, August 26, 2014 showing the chance of rain for Wednesday, August 27, 2014: 0%.


Wednesday morning, August 27, the weather forecast for the Canal Winchester / Groveport, Ohio area indicates a 50% chance of rain (it might rain and it might not? It will rain half the day and not the other?) Regardless, here is a satellite map showing this uncertainty; the light blue dot is our subject location.

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This isn’t an indictment regarding Intellicast and their forecasting. In fact, I’ve found that website to be as accurate, if not more accurate, than others. What this is indicting to some degree is anyone thinking they know what the weather will be much over 12 hours before any certain day.

Some weather services are now publishing 45-day forecasts. For that matter, the Old Farmer’s Almanac attempts to predict weather beyond a year away.

45 days away? Over a year away? I’ve not seen much evidence anyone can predict the weather even 24 hours away. In the last seven days here, the chance or rain for the same day has been as low as 0% and as high as 80%.

Being the auction business often requires anticipating weather conditions. Maybe a good rule of thumb for auctioneers is that predicting the weather is something we can attempt to do, but foreseeing in advance the exact weather conditions for a certain day is a difficult, if not impossible task.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.

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