Posted at 1:43 PM on March 27, 2008
by Craig Edwards
Towards the end of my lengthy career with NOAA I had enough less than accurate forecast to fill a book. In fact, one reporter asked me why I had chosen to retire while still in my fifties. I responded that I had run out of alibis.
Remaining mindful that perfection is not possible when it comes to predicting the whims of nature, I now humbly admit that any forecast which is not fully accurate was an unintentional communication of misinformation. My old boss at the National Weather Service flatly demanded that it is unacceptable to blame a bad forecast on computer models.
With regard to today's absence of snowfall in the Twin Cities, you'll recall that meteorologist, Paul Huttner had earlier pointed out the problems in the computer models. Further, they were so erratic that snow amounts in a narrow swath could range from one to ten inches. See previous blog. The models continued to fizzle the snow chances as the day went on. Thus, on the low end of the forecast, we only missed it by an inch. This episode of tracking the fickleness of nature produced more fiction than reality.
For my friends at St. Hubert's Catholic Church, I still hold out one other alibi, somebody must have prayed that travel would be fine on Thursday morning!