Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What's up with the Weatherman?

Take a company like UPS. If they tell you that they will not deliver your package on time, then you know you will not get it on time. However, if they tell you that you WILL get it on time, then you damn well better get it on time! Matter of fact, if they failed to deliver more than once, you would probably go somewhere else.

So what is the deal with the weatherman? These weathermen just cannot get it right. (Or should I say, "Weather-persons?" Or how about, "spokes-models-who-do-nothing-but-read-teleprompters?") Here in California, if they say it won't rain, then it won't rain. However, if they say it WILL rain, then it may, or may not rain! What is up with that? Don't you wish your job was like that? You could have billions of dollars worth of satellite and analysis equipment, national-level Government support, and be expected only to turn out flaky results?

Better yet, no matter what you did, or how poorly you performed, there would always be a group of people making excuses for you. "Well, you know that [insert your job here] isn't easy...There are [insert excuse #1 here], and [insert excuse #2 here] that make it difficult."

I think the reason the public makes excuses for them, and people keep tuning in, is that they have no other place to go. Fact is, even though the weatherman sucks at his job (why else would he crack goofy jokes, and qualify EVERY statement with, "there is a chance of..."), we think we do not have a choice.

Here are two sites that I have found to be more accurate and up to date than the national weather service. Accuweather is really good at short-term predictions. Their hour-by-hour weather can tell you rain vs. clouds vs. sun on an hourly basis. It is pretty reliable. The second one, Weather Underground, has access to the Nexrad radar ( I have found this to be more precise and more sensitive, than any of the other radar images you can get on competing web sites.