Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How About That Weather?

How often does the topic of the weather seem to keep cropping up in our lives these days?

Around the blogosphere, it seems like almost everyone has some comment or five or ten, about the latest weather conditions where each of us lives. And for those of us in this part of the hemisphere - North America -a lot of it seems to consist of either complaining about all the darned snow we've received, are getting or how much we hate the consequences of winter and snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain and the like -or just complaining about having good old "cabin fever!"

I have to tell you this too because I read a lot of blogs and many folks tend to refer to weather forecasters as totally out of touch individuals who they feel, based on the weather forecasts they read or see on tv, etc., that these folks don't have a clue in the world as to what their predictions really are. And, you know - just like doctors sometimes misdiagnose things, so do weather forecasters make mistakes at times.

I worked for over seven years for a private weather forecasting company. It touts itself as being the largest private weather forecasting service in the world too. And yes, from time to time their forecasts are a little off, sometimes they might be way off but they do provide an extremely valuable service overall.

One blog I read daily, the writer there was taking the weather folks to task almost daily a month ago because his area had received almost daily forecasts of impending snow storms that never materialized to the extent the weather people had said they might be. And this is upsetting him? Ranting that he could do a better job than weather forecasters because of their inaccuracy in calling the shots that Mother Nature is really the one who says what is going to go on ya know!

But then, in the last week or two, he was going on about the weather forecasts for lots of snow that actually came about in his area but this time, he was upset because they got a little bit more snow than the forecasters had apparently predicted!

I don't know about you but I'd much rather hear that these people, educated (highly educated I might add) who do occasionally see readings in their "tea leaves" (translated -radar screens) that look ominous to them and could dump different types of precipitation on a particular area, have over estimated the storm potential. I'd rather have an inkling that this might just happen here and be somewhat prepared and then happy if a sudden change in the atmosphere blows that forecast apart.

Having worked around many people who do the weather forecasting (world-wide forecasting as a matter of fact) and seeing how dedicated they are to trying to interpret the information available to them on a minute-by-minute basis sometimes, I know, understand and appreciate their efforts to give us as much information as they can possibly give us at any point in time.

Yes, I have on occasion teased some of those folks too that I know how they REALLY determine what's happening with the weather by just stepping outside the back door and holding a finger up in the air to see if the wind is blowing, is it raining, is the sun shining, etc., etc.

But deep down inside, I'm really darned happy these people have chosen to learn about weather, the various things that can and do come together to slap us with snowfalls that require chiropractic services later after trying to shovel out all the white fluff or warning us of the potential hazard of freezing rains or tornados that may be the conditions are ripe for them to form -or hurricanes, typhoons or just letting me know that today will be sunny, warmer than normal perhaps, maybe even hot as Hades too. Whatever the forecast is, take it and consider yourself perhaps forewarned that this CAN happen today or tomorrow but not necessarily that it always WILL happen the way it may appear to a forecaster that particular day.

It is a science for sure but it is also one that is not a controlled science so as such, conditions can change -and often do - but I really do like it when the forecaster says, "Sunny, clear -warmer weather ahead today!

Don't you?


Gene Bach said...

Glad you have forecasters that only make occasional mistakes. Here they just flat suck. Typical example was this last weekend: forecast - rain and snow and cold...actual - 65 degrees and sunny. That's the norm, not the exception., weatherunderground and NOAA are just as bad. And these folks actually get paid too. LOL!

The Weatherman said...

Thanks for the support Jeni. The way I look at, the weather in most instances is not life-threatening and it is just a convenience to know what the temperature will be or whether or not it will rain. There are things way more important to gripe about; like the price of gas, the war in Iraq and the cluelessness of our political leaders.