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WIU Associate Professor Marcus Büker
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WIU Professor Wins Second Place in National Forecasting Competition

March 22, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Meteorology Associate Professor Marcus Büker won second place in a recent meteorological forecast competition, called WxChallenge, forecasting for the city of Nashville, TN. This is the third time since 2012 Büker has won an award in the competition.

During the event, Büker competed against 200 meteorology faculty from across the nation. The competition promotes excellence in forecasting and requires forecasters from higher education institutions from the United States and Canada to predict the high and low temperature, maximum sustained wind speed and total precipitation from select locations across the United States.

The competition, which runs for 10 weeks in the fall semester and 10 weeks in the spring semester, is completely online and web based. There is an additional three-week tournament following the end of the spring semester for the top 64 forecasters.

Scoring of forecasts is done by assessing error points based on the degree of accuracy between the forecasts and the verified meteorological measurements.

"It takes a combination of forecasting skill, experience and luck to get an award like this," said Büker. "The margin of error is very small. To give you an idea of this, each degree you are off on one forecast gives you one error point. I won second place by 0.2 error points. Back in 2013, I also won second place for Billings, MT, and my retired colleague, 'Dr. Tom' Williams, got first. I also got an award for third highest overall faculty score (for all 10 cities) in 2016.

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