I am a firm believer in science. Science is reality, to me. Science is about experimentation and finding the truth. Science is about discovery.
We have seen great improvements in our lives thanks to science. That is especially true when it comes to medicine, but is also true in many areas. That includes meteorology. Advances in radar technology have made us much better at forecasting dangerous storms and has saved an untold number of lives. We now know what is coming and can plan for it accordingly.
But strangely, we can't get the daily forecast right in 2017. In fact, we seem to be digressing in this area.
Remember when you were a kid and you knew what the weather was going to be like that day? All you had to do was listen to your mom – she had that weather thing nailed down.
Mom: “Make sure to take a raincoat, it is going to storm just after noon.”
You: “OK, mom. Did you put a Ding Dong in my lunch?”
Like I said, nailed down.
Now I watch the local news to see how far off they are going to be. I understand that a small market like Rockford won't get the best equipment and is a starter market for most news people. But how can they be so wrong pretty much all of the time?
I watch the early morning news every day before work. Besides being fed news by people who look like they are 15 (and many act like it), the weather forecast is basically a myth. If they said unicorns would be flying in from Fantasy Land on the strong winds coming in from the north, it would be about as likely to happen as whatever they say the forecast is that day.
So I do also rely on weather apps on my phone. Big mistake.
The Weather Channel app – the Weather Channel! – is also pretty useless. My wife hit the proverbial nail on the head when she said these give updates, not forecasts. Seriously, you can check a weather app every 15 minutes and the forecast for that day will change basically every time.
And I don't mean change a little. I mean at 8 a.m. it says it will be sunny all day. At 8:15 it shows thunderstorms at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. At 8:30? Partly cloudy all day.
You can't trust these things at all.
You also can't plan your day around a weather forecast, because it will likely be wrong – at least that has been my experience.
As a motorcycle rider, I try to not ride when I know it will rain. Frankly, it has become nearly impossible to know when it is going to rain. There are days that look like complete wash outs a day or two in advance. But the day comes and it's sunny. How can you plan a ride with friends when that happens?
Sure, you can just get wet, but that is really not any fun.
Yes, there are bigger problems in the world – namely man buns and people who wear pajamas out in public like clothes. But this inaccurate weather forecasting in the age of powerful Doppler Radar is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Don't let me down, science.