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Is Weather Forecasting Another Made Up Thing?


Razors Edge
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This question seems to really be pertinent this time of year.  We had plow/salt trucks lining the Fairfax County Parkway from noon on Sunday through late evening (and possible overnight).  NOT A HINT of snow graced our lovely parkway - just rain and sleet.  Dozens and dozens of trucks, idling for hours, and nada!

I blame the weather forecasters and think their business is just made up.

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10 minutes ago, bikeman564™ said:

SE mitten predictions were accurate this year, w/ the snow/ice days for sure. But these are probably based on models. Like me when I do finite element analysis.

I think the European models are preferable to the normal US ones.  This one suggests sunny weather on the horizon!

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Three things irk me about local TV weather forecasts:

1) They try to scare you into thinking the next storm, heat wave, or cold snap is next worse thing to the Apocalypse.  My late mother used to say, "If you listen to the TV weather you'll never leave the house."

2) They give you a weather reporter's "tease" a minute into the news and in 15 seconds he/she tells you, "We'll be back in a few minutes with the complete forecast," knowing it's scheduled for 23 minutes later -a lie done to keep you from changing the channel.

3) They drag what should be a 2 minute forecast into a long, major production including showing a map where EVERY area's temperature is between 29 and 31 and take a minute to say, "It's 31 in Taneytown, 29 in Glen Burnie, 30 in Annapolis, 29 at BWI Airport, 31 in Downtown Baltimore, and it goes on and on. They must figure that hearing your neighborhood's name will make you want to watch THEIR weather news in the future so they try to name every one they have time for even though all the temperatures are virtually the same!

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Weather forecasting is a statistical science.  That means there is always a chance that results may not be the same for all users.

I live in a particularly difficult area to predict.  In this last storm I got more snow than anyone in the rest of the state.  The honest weather forecasters however admitted that a difference of 50 miles in the storm track would mean rain or snow........all while trying to predict the weather that would be caused by a storm just leaving California the day before.

Minor variations in wind direction, topography and where exactly the jet stream is on the day in question matter a lot.  Here the snow belt is just a few miles to the north while the moderating influence of the ocean is just a few miles to the south.  Tough job.

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2 hours ago, MickinMD said:

Three things irk me about local TV weather forecasts:

1) They try to scare you into thinking the next storm, heat wave, or cold snap is next worse thing to the Apocalypse.  My late mother used to say, "If you listen to the TV weather you'll never leave the house."

2) They give you a weather reporter's "tease" a minute into the news and in 15 seconds he/she tells you, "We'll be back in a few minutes with the complete forecast," knowing it's scheduled for 23 minutes later -a lie done to keep you from changing the channel.

3) They drag what should be a 2 minute forecast into a long, major production including showing a map where EVERY area's temperature is between 29 and 31 and take a minute to say, "It's 31 in Taneytown, 29 in Glen Burnie, 30 in Annapolis, 29 at BWI Airport, 31 in Downtown Baltimore, and it goes on and on. They must figure that hearing your neighborhood's name will make you want to watch THEIR weather news in the future so they try to name every one they have time for even though all the temperatures are virtually the same!

I have a weather app in my phone and it’s pretty damn accurate.  Last night we took jack for a walk.  I checked the app and it said I had an hour before rain was really due to hit.  But my wife wanted to go to the beach (next city over 5 miles away) so I checked the app for that city and it was raining. We drive there anyway and sure enough it was raining... 

I really don’t bother with network news for the reasons you note...

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6 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

But the European model is your preferred one too?

Oh but we have LA Weathergirl Liberte Chan.  I posted a picture of her once but deleted it off my phone.  You’ll have to ask uncle google for an image.

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