ups ante with 45-day forecast

Pennsylvania meteorology company is offering a new 45-day forecast to help the public plan events even further in advance, just a few months after going out as far as a month in its predictions.

The forecast is live on AccuWeather's website by clicking on the "extended" tab of a local forecast. In Baltimore, for example, the forecast suggests the most intense of summer heat is behind us, with highs in the 70s and 80s for the next month and a half.

It also calls for likely clouds and storms in Baltimore and Ocean City for Labor Day weekend.

AccuWeather spokesman Justin Roberti said the offering is "following the appetite of our audience for this kind of forecasting" but isn't intended for people to take as literally as the five-day forecast.

The accuracy of forecasts declines the further out it is made. In general, any forecast beyond 5 days out can often be more iffy than allows it to be useful -- for that reason, National Weather Service's local forecasts do not go beyond 7 days, even though 10 days is the norm for TV meteorologists and companies like AccuWeather.

Government forecasters do provide long-range climate forecasts, however. Like AccuWeather's 45-day outlook, they give more general predictions of weather patterns.

"Obviously the closer you are to the date, the more reliable the forecast is going to be," Roberti said. "If they have a cruise or a picnic or a wedding that's happening 45 days from now, they're going to find this to be a useful tool."

An earlier version of this post misstated the length of government forecasts.

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