Friday, June 12, 2009

Weather Forecast Interpretation

How is one supposed to learn the weather? For example, this weekend the weather forecast shows little boxes with dark clouds and lightening streaks through them BUT the chance for precipitation is only 20-30%. The words under that ugly little thunderstorm picture say: Slight Chance of Thunderstorms. So if there is a 20% chance of a thunderstorm, what is the 80% chance of? Does it mean the weather is going to stink but probably won't rain/thunder? Or are the weathermen just pessimistic by focusing only on the 20% chance of badness and not the 80% chance of non-badness?


A forecast that says: slight chance of showers, with thunderstorms possible, chance of precipitation -20% without the ugly picture doesn't sound so bad. But the ugly dark cloud picture makes the weather look awful.

In New England, thunderstorms can arrive within minutes and blow out leaving cool air and warm steamy roads within 30 minutes.

So, do I go by the pictures? Or the words? Or do I just take the pessimistic view and assume weather is going to suck. Or take the bitter view and decide that the weather-folks don't have a clue what the weather is supposed to be like this weekend? I just don't know...

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