Another advantage to regularly logging a post analysis and keeping a forecast journal is that over time you will begin to pick up on patterns. Forecasting for an area for two years (forecast experience for each season twice) will give you significant background knowledge to pick up on forecast patterns that are common for your forecast area. Without keeping a forecast journal it can be more difficult to pick up on the mesoscale intricacies and weather patterns that are common during each season. Before starting your journal or when you first move to a new forecast area that you will be forecasting for it is a good idea to interview an experienced forecaster for that forecast area. A meteorologist at a nearby National Weather Service office is a good source of information. Ask questions such as, What are the mesoscale influences in the area? What is the weather typically like during each season? What unusual weather events do you see each year? Which weather forecast model seems to do best for this forecast region? Which MOS tends to do best in particular weather situations? What have you noticed that causes MOS to be way off? What are the forecast challenges for this region? What are common forecast mistakes you have seen forecasters make in this area? What should I do to learn more about how to be an experienced forecaster for this region?

Take note of how the synoptic models look each day such as the jet stream pattern, position of troughs and ridges, air masses and surface winds and write down how they are influencing the local forecast area. With experience you will be able to see how these big scale influences impact the local forecast area. Weather patterns will often repeat, thus learning from a previous similar weather pattern will help when a similar pattern develops in the future.

Take note of mesoscale variations in the forecast area such as with temperature and where precipitation develops. Often precipitation will develop first in favored areas. Some areas will tend to be cooler or warmer than other areas in the region. Write down the reasons for these mesoscale variations. This will help you get familiar with the local weather influences.