Weather Forecast

OK, forecasting the weather has got to be difficult.  My best understanding is that it’s a combination of reading the computer simulations plus trained gut instinct based on what’s physically observable and measurable.  When one variation builds on others over time, it’s got to be tough, and my compliments to anyone who can do it even reasonably well.

However.  Recently, there was a severe thunderstorm warning.  Details included damaging “straight line” winds gusting to 60 mph.  Wind force isn’t linear; 60 mph is way more than twice as damaging as a 30 mph wind.  (Check out the Beaufort scale.)   A 60 mph gust is enough to bring down trees, cause serious structural damage, fling lawn furniture, and shatter windows.  I checked the forecast an hour before the weather, though, so it should have been as close to reality as it was ever going to get.

Our weather here?  Some lightning.  Heavy rain.  Wind?  Yes, enough to sway the tops of the snap peas.  That’s it.

I think forecasts should be a little pessimistic.  After all, a warning doesn’t do any good if it isn’t given.  Maybe the terrible winds missed me.  Maybe that indeed happened somewhere within the forecast area, but local headlines don’t mention it for anyone else.  It appears, therefore, that the forecast was for enormously worse conditions than actually happened despite being only an hour into the future.  Why?  News as sensational entertainment?  CYA?  I’m not sure, but forecasting so far from reality teaches people to ignore the warnings.  It also lowers that source’s credibility for next time, too.

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