The NOAA Weather Dartboard

I know that meteorology is not an exact science.  It involves a lot of different variables that we don’t completely understand and employs probability and statistics to come up with the most likely scenario for any given time period.  And we live in New England, which is famous for its erratic and bizarre weather with its varied terrain and location on the globe.  Add a rapidly changing global climate to the mix which surely makes old-style meteological methods obsolete and creates havoc with computer models.  With all that, even I don’t expect NOAA to get it right 100 percent of the time.  But it seems to me that they are getting worse.  The other day, as a raging thunderstorm raced by overhead, NOAA was insisting that not only was it not going to rain all day but it wasn’t even raining at that moment.  A quick look outside or even a glance at their own radar screen might have made all the difference.  And yesterday, trusting that NOAA really meant that it wouldn’t start raining until 2pm, we trustingly left a woodpile uncovered, meaning to get to it first thing in the morning.  When we woke up at 5:30 am, it had already been raining for an hour.  Maybe they meant 2am.

Still, I keep looking at the weather forecast because I keep trying in vain to make sense of what will happen in the next few hours, like yesterday when I was trying to determine if I should leave early to avoid severe thunderstorms on my motorcycle.  I expected, at the least, a coherent forecast for rest of the day and possibly for the rest of the week, but what I got was this:

Thursday Night Through Friday Night…Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 60s. Highs in the upper 80s. Wind chill values as low as 120 below.

That’s one mighty chilly wind.   I don’t even know how to interpret such a forecast.  I should either move out of New England, stop looking at the weather forecast, or at the very least stay in bed on Friday.


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