Q: WeatheRate says Channel 11’s forecasts are “certified most accurate.” How accurate are they? What other forecasters were evaluated and how did they compare to Channel 11? — V. Daley, Findlay.
A: WeatheRate Inc., based in Phoenix, claims to have compared every television weather forecast for 11 years in dozens of metropolitan areas.
It approaches stations it deems to have the “most accurate” forecasts and offers “to license the WeatheRate seal of approval for advertising and promotional purposes,” according to its website.
“Stations that promote their WeatheRate seal of approval pay us a fee,” it says. “The money is used to cover administrative costs and a portion is set aside for disaster relief contributions.”
WeatheRate says its one-year designation sometimes moves from station to station, and it never offers its “seal of approval” to also-rans if the top station doesn’t pay.
“Our goal is to reward the most accurate station, not disparage the others,” said chief Bruce Fixman.
How does a station win?
WeatheRate says it reviews the four-day forecasts against “observed weather data,” including clouds, rain, timing of the rain, wind, fog, thunderstorms, and snow.
This is “fed into our patented software, WeatherTracker II, which compares the forecast with the actual observed conditions … (and) a series of mathematical calculations” determine the best, it says.
WeatheRate reports 46 stations use its seal, including WTOL-TV. — Peter Mattiace.
Q: If your car is going to idle for five minutes, what’s the best way to save gas: to keep it on, or to turn it off? — Michael J. LaRocco, Tallahassee, Fla.
A: Turn off the engine if it will idle for more than 10 seconds, except in traffic, of course. You’ll cut pollution and save gas. — Slate, Environmental Defense Fund.
Q: About the English comedy series “Last of the Summer Wine” (1973-2010): When did Joe Gladwin, Bill Owen and Brian Wilde die? Is Peter Sallis still alive? — Ronald Duran, Fostoria.
A: Gladwin was “Walter ‘Wally’ Batty” in 45 episodes from 1975 to 1986. He died March 11, 1987, at age 79.
Owen played “Campo Simmonite” in 186 episodes from 1973 to 1999. He died July 12, 1999, at age 85.
Wilde was “Walter ‘Foggy’ Dewhurst” in 116 episodes from 1976 to 1997. He died March 20, 2008, at age 80.
Sallis played “Norman Clegg” in 295 episodes from 1973 to 2010. He’s 93. — Various sources.
Q: Why call it Utah?
A: It’s named for the Ute tribe.
Q: When I sneeze, a co-worker says, “Salute!” or “A salute!” What do they mean?
A: It’s Italian for “to good health.” It is also used when toasting, or honoring, another.
Q: Who or what was a Delaware?
A: It was a person, Thomas West (1577-1618), the third Baron De La Warr, of Wherwell Abbey, Hampshire, England, and a governor of the Jamestown colony.
Q: What is Ohio’s state flower?
A: The red carnation.
Q: What did Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) say?
A: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”
We’re wide open for questions at Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839, or send an E-mail to justask.