Wednesday, February 10, 2010


THEY BLEW IT AGAIN. This has to be one of the most frustrating winters on record--for me and the precipitation prognosticators. At this point, Harvey and Company must be ready to go into the meteorological witness protection program--as one of them aptly put it today--for all the ill will they've stirred up after blowing the forecast. Schools cancelled, work cancelled, plows idling, carpools and childcare jumbled, earnings lost, reporters left reportless, the governor in a fleece muttering something about a sanding truck at the mouth of the Mass pike... I mean, just looking out the window this morning, it was clear the storm wasn't setting up right. That meant it was time to go back to square one, throw out all the models, and recalculate. Granted, the weather is unpredictable--especially in New England. But even as late as this morning, the weather gurus were all still pretty gung ho, even in the face of no snow.

So if we can't predict this micro -climate, how can we be so sure about predicting global weather patterns?? My brother raised the question. It's a good one. Let's put it this way. Nothing is a slam dunk. We're a drop in the vast universe; how much perspective can a drop have? Even with doppler radar? Today, make that dopelar radar.

One thing I did notice--there was no rush hour traffic--undoubtedly because many people stayed home. But it was also because of the staggered release of employees from work--why don't we commit to this anyway to alleviate annoying rush hour traffic? Just a thought, among many, on what was supposed to be a snowy day. I'm just a tad grumpy, now, like a kid who was promised a snow day and didn't get it. Some people just never grow up.

More later...
Stay tuned!


  1. Well maybe. But one of the reasons meteorologists all want to work in Boston is because the weather is so hard to forecast. I visited a friend once in Marquette MI on Lake Superior. He pointed across the lake and said "If there are dark clouds on the horizon it will rain in 4 hours [it was summer so nobody was thinking about snow]. If it's raining and the horizon is bright it will stop raining in 4 hours." Who wants to live in a place where the weather is that boring? I thought it was exciting to watch today's weather unfold.

  2. Of course you are right, Jonathan--I LOVE New England weather precisely because it is so variable--I would die of boredom in L.A. (for a variety of reasons...)
    I just thought it was amazing the way they clung to their predictions, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, so late in the game. Tonight I actually heard a weatherman saying--"we really did get snow-- it was just the amounts that were off."
    Yeah. right. Harvey was the only one who really admitted they had blown it. Undoubtedly, they will learn from this and go back and tweak their weather models a bit. I know it's all a learning curve.
    Hey-Thanks for commenting!

  3. You're right about the WX people clinging to their forecasts. I was watching the radar that day and by late morning I was pretty sure the forecast wasn't right. I didn't know which way it was going to go but it clearly wasn't unfolding the way they said it would. Oddly enough, if you measure the accuracy of their forecast by how far north the precipitation line came and how close the actual temperature was to forecast, they were very close. But they were off temperature by a couple of degrees, which at 32F makes a huge difference (rain instead of snow), and they were off on the precip line by a few miles, which included Boston. So lots of poeple noticed. Yeah, I couldn't live in L.A. either.