Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Forecast is a shrug

Remember when we used to have forecasts? Remember when they used to tell us what the weather would be like up to three days in advance and they were sometimes right? The thing now is that they don't even try anymore. They make "snowfall warnings" when snow is coming but they have no idea how much it will be. Wasn't it 15 to 20 forecasted this past Friday for this past Saturday? Okay, we got 70. That's close. Right? Not! And that was the day before the storm came. Now today we have more snow coming so another "snowfall warning". Environment Canada is saying that it's a "complex low pressure system" and to "monitor upcoming forecasts as this system is very complex and slight adjustements in its track or intensity could have a significant impact on upcoming forecasts".

Translation: "There's snow coming but we don't have a clue how much or for how long or how bad it's going to get. Maybe when it gets to Newfoundland we'll figure it out as it's happening and then let you know."

The weather forecast is the equivalent of looking out your front window. With today's technology any dingbat (like me) can look at the satellite and see that snow is coming. I just don't understand why the forecasters can't seem to do any better than that. I know the weather is not forecast from Gander anymore, and I think it should be, but can that really make this big a difference? Maybe but I'm not sure how. In 2001 when we got whomped with record snowfalls all over the place, the forecasters seemed able to let us know when they were coming and were relatively correct in predicting how much. I'm just confused by it all. We have the technlogy. Why can't we get a forecast in advance? It's like they're scared to even try to guess at it so they shrug and call it a snowfall warning. Sure, b'y that makes no sense.

*Edited at 5:10 pm to say that they just released a new forecast. It is now a blizzard warning starting, oh about now. Let's change the name from forecast to presentcast.

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