Thread: Weather
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Old May 14, 2016   #23
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 758

Originally Posted by zeuspaul View Post
I am puzzled when I check Weather Underground and the prediction is 40% chance of 0 inches of rain. What the heck does that mean?
As I mentioned above, I find the forecasts from most helpful, but I suspect that what you mention meant 40% chance of precip -- and only a very small amount -- a "trace" of precip, too small to measure, but enough to make grass too wet to cut -- is expected if the 40% chance of precip does happen.

Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
. . . where I am in upstate NY onthe Vt border it was a hard freeze again last night . . . . I can't even bring myself to mention in detail what the damage has been here where I am as to daffodils,tulips, lilacs ,daylilies, roses frozen,etc.

I've seen you mention this several times and sympathized, I think you've said that you have a lot of perennial beds that you've developed over the years . . . so sad to have those late hard freezes hit them . . . *almost* as bad as voracious voles, and worse because of the better quality of the flowers you're losing. Your climate seems generally a little milder than ours, but we haven't had the late hard freezes, so I'm hoping the lilacs and daffodils and apple and plum and chokecherry blossoms *might* still manage something close to normal bloom, in spite of the snow, which we're still getting.

Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
I do appreciate all the steps leading to modern forecasting. I think it started in the 80's with supercomputers. My adult kids are oblivious. Weather was fiction when I was their age. Thank you for this information, JLJ.

I too find it helpful to have a heads up on what might be coming down the pike. Of course things conditions can and will change, but at least I can be somewhat prepared if need be (especially mentally when a blizzard is coming )

Stay warm /cool/ dry/ wet everyone.

- Lisa
Computerized weather related resource data from satellites and other sources is a major advance, but I think the key to really good forecasting is the same as it's always been and lies between the ears of someone educated and experienced, with good communication skills.

Decades ago, long before personal computers -- or even widespread use of commercial/academic/govt computers -- the television station where we lived (yes, only one) had a man who was a real meteorologist (impressive academic credentials plus many years experience with weather in the region where he lived). He'd give the forecast as specified by the weather bureau, then, if he thought appropriate, he'd say something like "the official forecast is for warm and sunny, but I don't think I'd plan any picnics because . . ."

That's the same thing, I think, that makes the "forecast discussion" so valuable in the forecasts. Not so many years ago, those forecasts were not as reliable as one might wish and I contacted the regional weather office involved whenever one was really odd. They said that the system had been set up to computer generate the forecasts, and their ability to override the computer was limited, but they were working on getting that changed . . . and apparently they did.

So their forecasts -- at least from our regional offices -- are quite good and contribute substantially to personal safety and agricultural/commercial productivity . . . and probably will until some idiot who knows nothing about what is required to produce useful weather forecasts decides that it would save money to just let the computers do the forecasting.
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