Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Great Storm!!!

Can someone explain Buzz to me? It seems like it is sort of Twitter, kinda? But also a little bit more like email. And with a little old-fashioned message board group thrown in. I am not sure that my life is really going to be incomplete if I don't use it...but we will see...


The weathermen got all fired up all week about the great storm that was coming. Government workers were sent home early. Schools were cancelled. Offices closed. People were encouraged to stay off of the roads. Grocery stores sold out of milk, eggs and bread (which I still don't understand, but whatever).

And then something on the order of an inch and a half of snow fell. Is it me, or are weather people in New England incredibly bad? Not that I have lived everywhere, but in Chicago, if they said it would be cold and snowy, it usually was. We may have had shitty weather, but at least the forecasters usually got it pretty close to right. In Phoenix they did, too, but that is not that hard...the weather is pretty consistent.

But around here? It is like the forecasts are pulled out of a hat! On any given day, you can assume that the temperature will probably be somewhere within about 15 degrees each way of what they say. Precipitation levels are probably about 50% reliable. And not just "Oh, they said 8 inches of snow and we got 10" "today they are promising a storm big enough to shut down the city during rush hour and maybe as much as 14 inches in some places," only to have virtually no snow at all fall.

The other part of it is, even when they are right, they change the forecasts so often that it does nobody any good. Trying to plan a summer weekend trip? Well, you will probably get a totally different forecast for the weekend on Tuesday than you will on Friday afternoon. So, they may technically predict the weather on Saturday correctly...but if they do it after being wrong all week when people were making their plans, what good does it do?

I wonder if anyone has any data on this...does someone track the accuracy of weather forecasters by region? Someone must...I feel like there is somebody who measures everything:-)

Am I making this up? Or are the weather folks around here really that much less accurate than the rest of the country?


Ally said...

I can't speak to your exact question, but I quit watching the weather reports years ago because it's a total waste of time. I check on sometimes, and it seems more reliable than local yokel.

I wonder if eggs and milk are that big of a staple for most people's diets, or if it's just force of habit....when it snows you buy those three things.

Anonymous said...

They said snow over here and we got it.
15 cm yesterday, 15 cm over night and about 15 cm today,... and still snowing.
I had to get the driveway clean and it was HARD work.

Windy City Kelley's said...

We're getting about 6"-10" in Dallas right now. Not sure if this will be the case but it's been snowing all day so I think they may be right!

Jen said...

Tell me about it! I live in RI, not too far from MA, and I was severely disappointed in what we got versus the forecast. The boyfriend stayed home from work yesterday and worked here with me (I work from home almost daily), and I was all excited to cozy up inside while the snow piled up outside, then bring the dog out to play in it. But nothing. Nothing but yucka slush all day! We got about three inches, but it mostly melted today in the higher than forecasted temperatures!

There's a blogger, Micaela, whose fiance is a meteorologist down in VA. Maybe you could ask her to ask her sweetie about the accuracy of forecasts and tracking. Her blog is:

Dawn said...

I'm in CT and we got an inch or an inch and a half in my neck of the woods. The irony is that the afternoon before, they'd already announced the school closings for "the big storm day"... which never happened. But everyone got to stay home anyway, whether they wanted to or not. Ridiculous.