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This is not meant as a slight to the AccuWeather service, which is one of the best out there. But is it me or are weather forecasts in general becoming less reliable?

Just a guess, but sometimes I wonder if the industry is becoming a little too reliant on computer models instead of human meteorologists looking at the data and using their experience to arrive at a forecast.


I've found, over time, that the best weather forecast comes from the window.

It's not just you. I feel like you have to check the weather every five hours or so. :p

I actually studied meteorology for two years at the University of Michigan before I decided that it was not for me. (My grades were OK. I just didn't find it interesting.)

From my limited experience, I see a profession that has progressed from dependence on huge computers with very limited capabilities (we keypunched back then) to computers with highly advanced capabilities. The problem has always been that there are just too many variables to totally predict the outcome. Back then, the predictions were often way off in the short term and almost useless in the long term. Now, the predictions I find to be far more accurate. However, if a front moves a few miles in one direction, people start screaming why the rain/sun prediction was wrong, when it was right (couched as it was as a percentage likelihood) but the front just shifted.

Now I can't say that much about the current techniques in weather forecasting, but I can say that weather forecasting has been dependent on computers for more than 30 years now. I personally feel that it has advanced considerably, but it will never ever be close to 100% because there are too many changing variables and it's impossible to measure all the variables with total accuracy. So there is always going to be a measure of surprise.

What a thankless profession. I got complaints when people found out I was *studying* to be a meterologist. So, after awhile, I would just say I was studying engineering. (Meteorology departments were sometimes part of Engineering schools, sometimes in Agriculture or Physics Departments.)

Meteorologists who actually did work in the field would often say they worked at the Airport or something like that, rather than fess up to predicting the weather. (You predicted sunshine for my wedding!!)

Seriously, this is NOT a plug for my blog, but check out my 26 Apr post on Senator Santorum and follow the link to see what chicanery he's up to regarding the National Weather Service (NWS). I don't like it and have written both of my Senators about the bill.

Personally, I find wunderground.com about as good as any of 'em and I refuse to use the Weather Channel. To me they smack of marketing themselves first, weather forecasting second. An opinion made even more so by this bit of Bravo Sierra by Rick Santorum on what seems their behalf.

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