Predicting the weather
This has been an interesting winter compared to the last few which could probably be rated as busts.We have gone from having barely any snow the past few years to having a more normal Pennsylvania winter this year, but apparently for many they either have short memories repressing winters past in favor of the warm winters the last few years.Other than one or two years, most of the winters I can remember as a Pennsylvania native were quite snowy so I'm not sure what the difference is between then and now unless more people from the Sunbelt have migrated to our area which I find quite unlikely. Usually people flee from our area to there instead.
To be honest I don't think we have had as many big snowfalls like we have traditionally had in years past which are the ones that hang in peoples' memories.We have had a great deal of nuisance snowfalls though that add up when you get them daily like we have been and I suppose that is what is wearing on peoples' nerves.I have to admit I would prefer one or two decent snowfalls instead of 20 little ones. Someone should give a memo to Jack Frost and tell him to consolidate his efforts.
I notice though mostly in social media that apparently because we choose to live in Pennsylvania for some reason others think that we should not have the right to complain about our weather.I think that is silly.If anything we should have more of a right to complain about our weather.If it is too snowy, we should be able to voice our opinions about it.Unfortunately when some of us do, others right away take the position of "Hey you chose to live in PA, stop whining,"I would respectfully point out that yes we choose to live in Pennsylvania and if we want to complain about our weather it is our prerogative.If we really hated it, we probably would move, but let's face it. I think most of us enjoy the seasons even this one .
What I really find fascinating though is how the amateur meteorologists seem to be more knowledgeable about our weather than many of the weatherman on most local news programs.One station up north especially seems to throw darts at a board to determine the weather and spend more time fooling around instead of providing accurate weather reports.This storm last Wednesday they were holding fast to
From my amateur lurking, these weather people use several different models to develop a forecast and the ones that examine and analyze all of them to develop a prediction are faring better than those who stick with one model exclusively.I think this weather department at that station probably only bases their forecasts on one model only to the exclusion of others and perhaps that is why the are consistently wrong.There was some feedback on their site both supportive and negative regarding their forecasts.Of course most people were blasting them for always being wrong.
Their apologists were using positions like "well they predicted snow, does it matter how much?"
In my opinion, yes.No one is asking them for an exact total, but we are asking them to do a better job calculating their ranges.
It does make a difference to someone who has to judge whether to go to work, keep medical appointments and run other errands.
There is a big difference in risk between one inch and six inches or snow as compared to ice.
When a weather station consistently messes that up, it makes it difficult to make safe decisions.
No one is asking for perfection but it would be nice if they would be in the ballpark once in a while.That I think is what is upsetting to people.
For my purposes, I find the amateur or semi-professional weather forecasters on Facebook to be much better and more accurate most of the time.They seem to be able to make accurate analyses and provide good information to their followers.The ones that I find to be most informative include Eastern PA Weather Authority and the Carbon County Weather Authority.These folks have done an excellent job this winter at forecasting weather and they have very loyal fan bases who provide accurate real time accountings of what things are really like out there.
Like my father always said, the best way to determine the weather is to stick your head outside and look up then you will always be correct.
Regardless of how you get your weather, just remember in six weeks it will be spring.
What else can we do?
Til next time…