Thursday, February 09, 2006

Weatherman Accountability: Back on...

It's looking more and more like some type of winter weather will be upon us Saturday. As always, I'll be tracking the local forecasters as they struggle in vain to predict when and how much of the frozen stuff falls.

On a related note, commercial weather service Accuweather stinks. As bad as our local guys are at pumping up storms to get the attention of local viewers, Accuweather's much, much, much worse; they've been throwing out forecasts for this approaching storm with reckless abandon, at one time calling for up to a foot of snow for central Maryland. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service is playing it close to the vest until they, you know, actually have some confidence in the models.

Of course, Accuweather is the company that's been throwing money at the Worst Senator in America, Rick Santorum, to get him to silence the National Weather Service. It seems the NWS, which provides weather data and model guidance to all the commercial forecasters, is stepping on the toes of the free market by providing forecasts on its website. Instead of making its work public, Accuweather and the puppet Senator want NWS to continue to compile data, run models, and generate forecasts -- as it's doing now -- only instead of releasing this publicly-funded information to everyone, it should only give it to commercial forecasters, who can turn around and make us pay for something we've already paid for. Thanks, jerks.

If NWS was as consistently wrong with its forecasts as Accuweather, there might be a case for privatizing the agency. However, since they're usually right -- especially in instances where human life is in danger -- I think we should just stick with what works.

UPDATE: It is most certainly on.

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH
LATE SATURDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING
THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT.

AN INTENSE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL DEVELOP IN THE DEEP SOUTH ON
FRIDAY...AND MOVE NORTHEAST TO THE MID-ATLANTIC ON SATURDAY.

A BAND OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW IS LIKELY TO SETUP ACROSS THE
REGION...MOST LIKELY JUST WEST OF THE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR. THIS
INCLUDES THE WESTERN AND NORTHERN SUBURBS OF BOTH WASHINGTON AND
BALTIMORE. AT THIS TIME...A SWATH OF SNOWFALL 5 INCHES OR MORE IS
LIKELY WITHIN THE WATCH AREA.

HOWEVER...THERE CONTINUES TO REMAIN SOME UNCERTAINTY REGARDING THE
EVOLUTION AND SUBSEQUENT TRACK OF THIS STORM. PLEASE CONTINUE TO
MONITOR LATER FORECAST INFORMATION. IF HEAVY SNOW BECOMES
IMMINENT...A WINTER STORM WARNING OR HEAVY SNOW WARNING WILL BE
ISSUED.

2 comments:

STL said...

A little "bundle of love" for Valentine's Day! Oodles of Poodles
Toys, Tiny Toys, Teacups, a girl or a boy. A gift of continuing joy!

activities in therapeutic recreation said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a activities in therapeutic recreation site.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)
Greetings.