Friday, February 17, 2012

Snowmageddon

I'm going to be neither the first nor the last to post about meteorologists, but this was just too bad to pass up.

Lat year, we were expecting a HUGE snowfall.  The weather people all called it Snowmageddon, and we were expecting to get somewhere around a foot of snow.  I'm always leery of their predictions to start, but we took the necessary precautions just in case.  They all combined to do a great job of scaring the crap out of the general public.  Schools were cancelled days in advance.  No food or gas was to be found within a forty mile radius.  Everyone was prepared for the worst - and then it hit.
Not so much.
Snowmageddon produced a grand total of two inches of snow.

Flash forward to this weekend.

As of Friday we were told to expect between two and four inches of snow on Monday.

Saturday's forecast changed that slightly.  We were only going to get less than an inch of accumulation.

Sunday brought yet another change.  The local weather seer actually said we would get three and a half inches, but then quickly changed her tune and gave an estimate of one to four inches of the white stuff.

What kind of a range is one to four inches?  If you're going to predict precisely three and a half inches, why would you then give an estimate of one to four? 

That's right!  I nearly forgot.  Meteorologists have the only job in the world where you don't have to be close to accurate.  Actually, it seems like they are expected to be incredibly vague. 
The end of the world is here!  More details at 10.
I realize the weather can change very quickly, but how difficult is it to see what happened in the towns to your west, where the storm that is going to hit you just left, and make a prediction based on that?

If your mechanic tells you your brakes should last between three weeks and four years, you'd probably get a second opinion.  The same goes for a doctor telling you to take between one and four pills a day to cure whatever ails you. 

Unfortunately, in the weather predicting field, you can't get a second opinion.  Nobody wants to be the one that got it wrong, so they all say the same thing. 

Based on their latest predictions, I'm going to make my own estimate.  Either we get less than an inch or more than six. 

Even though I've had no training, I feel pretty good about my prediction. 

RESULTS:

In the end, we got less than one inch of snow at my house.  Ridiculous.

1 comment:

Helene said...

Our local news station just got a new meteorologist and so far, he seems to be spot on with the weather.

Or it could be that he's just really good looking and could be totally off with his predictions and I just don't care because he's nice to look at.