Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The Weatherman
Old 10-30-2014, 12:07 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
The Weatherman

Some thoughts, and wondering how others feel about weather forecasts.

Maybe my imagination, but it seems that the accuracy of forecasts this year are worse than ever... at least here in the midwest. Not just for the long term (as in one week) but even for tomorrow.

We look to the forecasts to plan for holidays, especially in the summer, when we have cookouts at our camp, which means that our friends have to drive an hour or so to get there. This year, the three day forecasts for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor day have been so wrong that weekends have either been ruined by unpredicted bad weather, or bad weather forecasts have forced families to cancel outdoor planned events, when the weather turned out to be excellent...

That's not the only problem... My current complaint is one that can affect hundreds of thousands of RV'ers, who have vehicles in the cold belt. It has to do with forecasts of freeze. At some point, RV's of all kinds require winterizing to protect water and sewer lines. In our case, it means blowing out water lines water lines and adding RV antifreeze. To have this done in our campgrounds costs from $50 to $100. Not doing this could result in a freeze that could cause as much as $1500 or more to repair.

Common knowledge has it that for RV pipes to freeze, requires a temperature below 28 degrees that last for four to eight hours (varies by source).

So here's the situation today is Thursday. Last night, the weather forecast for the Friday night was for a low of 34 degrees, and a daytime temp of 54 on Saturday. This morning the new forecast is for 26 degrees and 42 .

For most people that wouldn't make much of a difference, but for RV owners, many of whom, like me, would like to extend our season by a few weeks, it means dropping everything to drive to camp, and winterize. For those who hire to have it done, they're out of luck... too late.

Not to put too fine point on this, but looking at the longer term forecast... we are not scheduled to have a single day between now and November 20th, when the temperature is forecast to go below freezing for the first time. That's 3 weeks from today.

And yet, I'll still tune in to watch the giggly weather girl to read from the prompter... even though I know she has no idea...

We pay $4.900,000,000 (that's billions) for the National Weather Service that can't tell what the weather will be like tomorrow...

Curmudgeonly yours,
imoldernu


so back to the old standby:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg barometer.jpg (22.6 KB, 202 views)
__________________

__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-30-2014, 12:47 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
I think they're smokin' doobies...
__________________

__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 01:17 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
And I thought this post was about Mark Rudd
__________________
Doing things today that others won't, to do things tomorrow that others can't. Of course I'm referring to workouts, not robbing banks.
DFW_M5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 01:17 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,370
Would you rely on a "giggly health girl" for important medical information? For scientific info get a scientist's estimate, many of which can be found online.
__________________
GrayHare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 01:34 PM   #5
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
.
.
.

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Car-Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Citizen of Texas
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Some thoughts, and wondering how others feel about weather forecasts.

Maybe my imagination, but it seems that the accuracy of forecasts this year are worse than ever... at least here in the midwest. Not just for the long term (as in one week) but even for tomorrow.

:
I thought it was just my imagination too. They still seem to get night and day right but I don't need them for that. These days it seems they are right about half the time (maybe a little more) but that's not very good.
__________________
Car-Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 02:01 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RockyMtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: North Scottsdale
Posts: 1,234
pretty much the only job you can be wrong every day and not get fired!
__________________
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
RockyMtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Car-Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Citizen of Texas
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMtn View Post
pretty much the only job you can be wrong every day and not get fired!
I had to go back and re-read the OP. I thought for a minute you were talking about the IRS.
__________________
Car-Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 02:20 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,793
So what do you expect from all that high tech leading edge sit in the room analists?

They are at least as good as the farmer's almanack, where thay careully observe caterpillars, tree bark, color of deer hide and tea leaves.

The part that annoys me is that that on commercial TV the weather blather bloviator is probably the highest paid character. Yet most of them use the NOAA source data, and modify it slightly so it seems more accurate for the locality. While some run their own radars for current info their long range guesstimates are sourced from the gummint.

True there are a few independently run weather predictors, they seem no more accurate.

But their historic data is spectacularly accurate.

Recently NOAA complained of not getting current satellite data. Can't figure out if that is relevant or not.

Do recall w*rking in the Aleutians, listening to NOAA short wave reports from the various remote locations. The old and not bold pilots would make as good of a prediciton from listening to the raw data radioed in, as the official forecast on the weather frequencies. And for about as far in advance as "professionals".

Edit add: Maybe Nords will pipe up. IIRC his spouse was in the Navy weather bureau.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 03:22 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,300
Is there any actual historical reporting on accuracy? It does seem way off, I've tried scheduling yard work and fertilizer and weed control spreading around the reports, and I should have just gone with my gut.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 03:42 PM   #11
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,579
Maybe it's easier to forecast around here, but they (NOAA) seem remarkably accurate to me.

Of course they did blow it big time in 1966 when we got three feet of light flurries. But they didn't have satellites and probably not even radar.

That's the thing though. Everyone remembers the screw ups and not the times they got it right.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 03:55 PM   #12
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 9,375
I fell imoldernu's pain, and I agree that weather forecasting in the midwest is a guess. It seems to me that forecasting in other parts of the US is more accurate than the Chicago area. I haven't taken my boat out of the lake yet - doing it saturday morning. I shouldn't have any freezing problems - the water will be warmer than the air.
__________________
Ronstar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 04:47 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
What is accuracy? Is it the cold front came in on the day it was predicted, or the morning vs afternoon, or at 9:00 when they said it would. Did it rain in my area or somewhere close? Did the temperature reach 45 deg or was it closer to 50? Were the winds 35 mph or stronger, if weaker did we even notice? If my area had a tornado and it was not forecast, but it was forecast fifty miles away, is that inaccurate?

My point is, I have been depending on weather forecast since 1966 when I started flying. I remember the wrong ones but seldom give the right ones another thought.

I may be wrong on this part, so if there is a weatherman out there please correct me, but a conversation with an Air Force weatherman he told me that the weather service was practicing Newtonian Weather. Seems lime Isaac Newton said if you have enough data you can predict the outcome. I understand the weather bureau gathers infomation 23.75 hours a day and feeds it into a super computer. It then grinds for 15 min and makes the forecast. I think they may be rethinking Newton and going to chaos theory.

I can not think of any job in the world that could be harder. If you look at all the lows and high fronts in the world and they are all pushing and pulling at each other and you have to decide if the water temp in the Indian ocean will effect a front over Africa, that effects the temperature in Germany, which effects a front in Russia, which will effect the rain in Las Vegas at 9:00 Saturday.

It makes timing the stock market seem childs play.
__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 04:52 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,638
Where I live, I've been absolutely delighted with the continually increasing accuracy and precision of the weather forecasts I get online.

And I'm being perfectly serious about that.
In all fairness, forecasts here used to be abysmal, but they are so much better today that I'm truly impressed.
__________________
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 04:52 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,907
I kinda miss the good old days when the temperature got hot in summer and cold in winter.

At least now the weather folks earn their pay
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 05:08 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Imold, you sound really frustrated. Try this:

Lookup your first and last freeze/frost dates by zip code

Plug in the zip code and you'll get information about freeze dates. I would disregard a forecast of 11/20 for the first frost anywhere of any year in Illinois.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 06:54 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Imold, you sound really frustrated. Try this:

Lookup your first and last freeze/frost dates by zip code

Plug in the zip code and you'll get information about freeze dates. I would disregard a forecast of 11/20 for the first frost anywhere of any year in Illinois.
Thanks for the link
If there's any frustration, it's because the TV weather people don't seem to have a clue that their forecasts actually affect peoples' lives.
My kids had planned to visit tomorrow and looking at the forecast on Wednesday, it looked for sure as if Friday would be relatively warm (at least above freezing). Now, 24 hours later, we have to cancel, as Ill have to go to my park model trailer and winterize to avoid a potential big repair bill. There are 6000+ trailers in our campground, and based on talking to some of the contractors, there are still about 2000 to be winterized.
In all likelihood, the cold won't last long enough to do a hard damaging freeze, but for those people who live 150 miles away, and haven't winterized yet, there will be some anxious moments. We watched a neighbor who had an Airstream, where the lines froze early, broke, and by the time they got to the trailer the water had risen to the window level. (Airstreams are pretty tight). $4000 damage.

The freeze /frost date chart is very good, and looks to be a key to long range planning, but for instance, the first 28 degree freeze here, is listed for November 6. When it comes to $$$ risk, averages don't count.

An imprecise science... good enough to predict % chance of precipitation, but nowhere a (+- ) estimate on the temperature. Small wonder that satellite launches have problems.

Umm... Have you ever heard the weather girl say "I'm sorry... we made a mistake"?
Oh well, now I feel better... though I'm sad to think I'll miss the next two weeks at camp.
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 07:02 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 406
If you are listening to the TV weather guys that might be part of the problem . I believe forecasting is much more accurate than it used to be and is accurate further out as well. Still Mother Nature will do what she wants sometimes, so that front that is suppose come in and bring you rain falls apart 100miles out, or shifts 100miles north and misses you.

The best forecasts you can get IMO is to read the actual NWS detailed forecasts. There a lot of terms to learn , things like 500mb temps etc but you will get the best details this way. And what you can often find (especially for around here) is that the various models that exist can give different results, one hotter one colder one wetter one drier. If you listen to the news you can often figure out which model the weatherperson favours.

When all the models say the same thing and do it consistently for a few days the forecast confidence will be high, when they don't is won't
__________________
If money is the root of all evil I want to be a bad man
nuke_diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 07:16 PM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Yes, try weather.gov for more weather information than you can ever use . The TV news weather has to be embellished and dramatized.

But forecasts are always refined as we get closer to the time being forecast. Better to find out today that the temp is probably going to be worrisomely cold on Saturday than to wake up to it on Saturday when it hits.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2014, 08:54 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
And I thought this post was about Mark Rudd
My first thought was that group also

Not too bad in my area. I think one issue is they give a forecast for their viewing area which can cover a good bit of territory. The weather in your specific location can be a lot different. Local Weather from AccuWeather.com - Superior Accuracyâ„¢ is pretty good.
__________________

__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:33 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.