How far in advance can weather be forecast, and how accurate will that forecast be?

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It depends on what you are trying to forecast. If you want to know exactly when rain will arrive at your house, such a forecast might only be possible from a few hours to a day before the event. For forecasting the locations of storms, reasonable accuracy can be expected about three to five days out. Weather can also be forecast months in advance, but the objective is different. Rather than trying to pinpoint individual storm systems on a day-to-day basis, long-range forecasts attempt to forecast the temperature or precipitation over the span of a month or season, compared to long-term climate averages. Learn more about weather forecasting on this USA TODAY resource page. (Answered by meteorologist Bob Swanson, USA TODAY's assistant weather editor, Feb. more
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