A weather-forecasting contest was conducted at the City College of the City University of New York during the spring semester of 1977. The backgrounds of the participants were such that it was possible to classify each as either “experienced” or “inexperienced” and as either “educated” or “uneducated.” An analysis of the contest results suggested that, provided there is a basic meteorological education, 1) a beginner acquires much of the weather-forecasting skill he will ever have after making about 30 detailed forecasts, and 2) there appears to be a rather small advantage to being meteorologically educated, but the sample size was too small to determine the statistical significance of the advantage. The value of experience is, however, quite important for the more unusual weather situations. It also appears that the amount of effort and time spent preparing forecasts is of great importance.
1 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, City College of the City University of New York, New York, N.Y. 10031, and Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y. 10964.