Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And now the weather...

Am I the only one who thinks a meteorologist should be studying meteors?
Anyway, here's a fun thing to try: go either to your newspaper or the TV weather and look at the extended forecast. Write down their predictions for the next five, seven, or ten days. Then, as the days arrive, compare. Now I don't know about you, but when I'm told the weekend's going to be sunny and warm but it turns out to be rainy and cold, I get pissed. Beyond two days, they are never right.
I have some questions about this whole business. How is it these "meteorologists" get to keep their jobs when they're wrong at least 50% of the time? I'm allowed six errors a year at my job before bad things happen to me. What exactly do they study to get the degree? Most of it can be covered in a high school Earth Science class, I'd wager. And even after they acquire all of this mysterious knowledge, they just end up reading a script from the National Weather Service anyway.
Of course they always leave themselves wiggle room. I remember one summer many years ago, every day's forecast called for 20% chance of rain. How assinine is this? Why not just say there's 50% chance of rain every day for the next six months and go home? After that, 50% chance of snow. This isn't as bad as the cloudy/sunny thing, though. It will be sunny, mostly sunny, partly sunny, cloudy, mostly cloudy, partly cloudy, and my favorite, overcast. Partly sunny and mostly cloudy are the same freaking thing, people. Likewise mostly cloudy and partly sunny.
And then they just make shit up. The first time I heard a forecast that called for "thunder snow," I thought it was a joke. What the....? Sure, it can thunder during a snow storm. But it's still just a snow storm. We don't we see forecasts for "thunder rain." Why? Because like "thunder snow," it sounds really stupid.
When the weather people say a huge snow storm is coming (not a 20% or even 50% chance but 100%) and a city spends millions of dollars preparing for it, and then storm never appears, the city should be able to sue the National Weather Service. Every ad on TV has a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen saying "results may vary." Since the weather folks don't do this, I feel they're wide open to litigation. So when you stock up on duct tape and plywood and that hurricane never arrives, call your lawyer.
Weather is kind of important. If you are, without a doubt, 100% positive it will rain and would bet your life savings on it, then go ahead and tell me. Otherwise, be honest and say, "It might rain...but I could be wrong."

1 comment:

  1. Meteorologists DON'T study meteors?
    Oh no......
    Kidding. Actually I think these people are there on the news for comic relief. You know - - - - from all the sex and violence you mentioned in your earlier post. At least you've come to understand you can't trust them. I know for me, I so enjoy the presentation of some of our weather people that I find myself going back the next half hour to see what's new. Like there would be something new. Especially here in Vegas in the summer. Must be something wrong with me. I still trust them. Some of them.