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That Big Nor’easter

January 27, 2015

What a surprise, the weather forecasters get it wrong. From the NY Times this morning: “The National Weather Service said the blizzard warning for the city had been canceled, as the dire warnings that it could be one of the worst storms in the city’s history failed to materialize.” That was posted at 5:20 CST. The latest update is that the travel ban has been lifted and subway service is scheduled to resume. Get up and get to work New Yorkers!

A failed weather forecast, nothing new there.

Yes, this is good news that a potentially deadly snowstorm didn’t hit a city with a population of 8+ million people. But it also points to the inaccuracy and unreliability of weather forecasting. I’m not going to claim that meteorology isn’t a science or that the mathematical models they use are flawed or that TV meteorologists aren’t a charming and bubbly lot, but I will say that it’s silly to try and predict weather outside of a 12-24 hour window. It’s also potentially dangerous if those forecasts fall flat. The media can only raise so many false alarms before people quit listening to them and believing them.

Local news stations spend too much time and money on weather forecasting and I think those resources could be better used by giving less time to the weather and giving more time to covering local stories on issues like homelessness and poverty, education and infrastructure, etc. to help raise public awareness. Yes, I know the local stations do cover those topics, I just think those issues deserve a few more minutes of time in that 30 minute broadcast and that weather forecasting deserves a little less. And while I’m reprogramming the local news broadcasts, it might not hurt to give 90 seconds or so to stories that make a person feel good, hopeful and positive in an effort to offset the torrent of negative stories that make up the bulk of the news nowadays. I’m not saying that news programming should ignore the realities of the world today, but just give us a little silver lining to offset the dark clouds. Again, we do get those types of stories, we just need more of them.

So yeah, I’m not a fan of the long range weather forecasts, but I feel it’s my duty here to not only entertain, but to help out wherever I can. With that in mind I’ll share this long-range forecast for Minnesota. It’s predicted that here in Minnesota the months of July through August are expected to be sunny and warm so it might not be a bad idea to start stocking up on sun block, cooler clothes and maybe a hat now. The warm-up will be short-lived however as cooler temperatures are predicted to show up sometime in late October or early November.

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