Friday, January 28, 2011

Voodoo Weather Forecast

The folks over at have outdone themselves this time. How? Well, on one page of their website, they are predicting a major storm for February 2 with the headline “Groundhog Day Storm May Affect More than 100 Million People.” As you can see from the map, heavy snow is predicted for the entire Northeast, including New York City.

Just for fun I then clicked on the extended forecast for New York City and guess what? The forecast is “Mostly cloudy, snow possible.”

Now if you had plans to fly to Florida from New York on February 2 at 8:00 a.m. as I do, what would you do?

As I said in my previous blog on weathermen, I’d like to be reincarnated as one. No accountability, no penalty for errors, no one seems to care if you are right or wrong. Some science, meteorology, eh?


Anonymous said...

Although this storm was 3 years ago, it was a large enough event that I'm currently involved in undergrad research in analyzing the predictability of the storm using multi-model global ensemble forecasts. Looks like they did a pretty decent job forecasting this storm 5 days out which did indeed affect 100 million people and cause numerous flight delays and shut-downs. The science of meteorology is truly amazing and much more complex than most understand.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thanks for commenting. Anecdotally, I have observed that meteorologists often do very well with big storms and sure things. In my area when they say there's going to be 10 inches of snow, it usually snows at least 5 inches.

Regarding this post, you didn't address the two highly conflicting forecasts.

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