Before making your forecast, familiarize yourself with the available information. Spend time at the weather websites, review the data available for various dates in the Kitty Hawk area (Landsat image of Kitty Hawk). Beyond the weather summary at the top of each page examine the hourly charts for temperature, pressure and wind speed and the table of hourly readings. Include adjacent dates as well as December 17 each year to check on day-to-day trends that might emerge.
Now, with this complete review in mind, consider your forecast plan and select the data items you need to carry out that plan.
The resulting list will probably contain a large amount of data which will have to be organized into a convenient system for use. Turn to the computer and use a spreadsheet program. Copy all of the chosen data into it (max. and min. temperature, pressure, wind characteristics, humidity, dew point, etc.).
An effective spreadsheet layout would have horizontal column headings contain the year values and a vertical row for each selected weather data item. (It will be an expansion of the simple tables shown in earlier sections of these activities.)
This spreadsheet is large and comprehensive and consequently next-to-impossible to read in tabular form so use the charting capability of the software to experiment with your various forecasting ideas. Compare and contrast any categories of data you choose. Resulting charts are immediate, do not hesitate to try as many likely (or unlikely) combinations as you can imagine, the result will always provide information to confirm or refute your theory.
The chart of maximum and minimum temperatures at Manteo and Hatteras demonstrates the approach.
Some sample charts, taken from random data packets, are shown here:
In the 'Wind Data' chart the pattern of the values reflects the close relationship in characteristics but the difference between the maximum and the gust values varies widely.
In the 'Temps. vs. Dew Pt.' chart the dew point values tightly follow the maximum temperature while varying widely from the minimum temperature plot.
The 'Temp. vs. Wind vs. Dew Pt.' chart gives negative information, showing that there is no correlation between wind speed and the other two weather characteristics.
What about visibilty? Does it have any relationship to the other data?
In final considerations remember the locations of Manteo and Hatteras in relation to the target at Kitty Hawk. (Check the map.) Is Manteo a more sheltered spot than Kitty Hawk? Would the Hatteras data reflect a more exposed position?
Continue the questioning until you are satisfied with your approach. Then go ahead and choose! Remember that beyond your proposed values the more important point is that you can justify and explain the path taken to reach them. Good luck!
Use the Relative Humidity Equation to fine tune your humidity forecast.