Friday, October 10, 2008

Weather Forecasts

So, earlier I mentioned there was snow in the forecast. Well, that isn't the case anymore. The forecast is now 50% or so chance of precipitation. It just isn't going to get as cold as they thought.

Forecasting must be really hard and I must admit it is a topic that fascinates me. We all like to complain about the weather and forecasters, so maybe I'm just normal. However, I have noticed some interesting patterns in forecasting. (BTW, I am not really trying to trash forecasters. I think the front range of the Rockies is a very difficult area to predict weather.)

Pattern 1: Psych! There have been several times when major snow storms have been predicted and just didn't happen. I remember once schools let out early and we ended up with a few flurries (not enough to accumulate).

Pattern 2: Oops, missed that one. This is similar to the first pattern. Totally missed the boat but in the other direction. There have been days when nothing major was supposed to happen, but it did. I enjoy making the remark "I just shoveled 6 inches of partly cloudy off of my driveway."

Pattern 3: Rebound. This is a subtle pattern, but I have noticed it many times. The distant forecast (a week or more out) makes a prediction. As the day gets closer, the forecast changes (I assume as the information used for the predictions becomes more solid). And then, when the day comes and we see its actual weather, it was more like the early prediction than the late prediction. This is my hope for this weekend. It will actually get as cold as originally predicted and snow.

Pattern 4: Rut. Here in Colorado Springs, we have a fairly consistent weather pattern during the summer. Afternoon Thunderstorms. There is something about the mountains that produces a daily weather cycle where we have clear skies in the morning, developing storms in the afternoon, and then clearing skies in the evening. Many days are forecasted as a percentage chance of a thunderstorm or how big the storm will be. It gets monotonous. Even the weather people on TV see it and comment on it. "Yet another day of PM thunderstorms."

Anyway, that is my take on the weather. I guess now you don't need to ask :)


HAH said...

It's snowing here this morning!

Yevi said...

No snow. We got some rain on Saturday. It was 50% on Saturday and 50% on Sunday. We got Saturday, so I guess forecasters were right on.