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EnolaGaia

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The outgoing head of the US National Weather Service claims the biggest problem with effective weather forecasting is getting people to understand what the forecasts mean.
Making weather forecasts is hard. Getting people to understand them is even harder

Louis Uccellini retired at the beginning of the month as director of the National Weather Service, the federal agency responsible for issuing forecasts and warnings. His departure ends a nine-year tenure when the weather – especially extreme weather – began upending the lives of greater numbers of Americans. ...

Uccellini spent a great deal of his time as director on improving technology at the weather service. But the agency's biggest challenge is effective messaging about the weather, especially extreme events, Uccellini says.

Even now, people don't really understand what forecasts are telling them. A 20% chance of rain, for example, is often seen as a low probability event when it actually means 20% of a city's area will see rain. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.npr.org/2022/01/07/1070...tting-people-to-understand-them-is-even-harde
 

Swifty

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It's been pissing down here for days now. I'm half expecting a phone call from my previous/possible again employers ... "Swifty, we've got four skin jobs walking the streets from the Off World Colonies. We need your old magic." .. "I don't work for you anymore." .. "No choice pal." ...

 
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Mythopoeika

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It's been pissing down here for days now. I'm half expecting a phone call from my previous/possible again employers ... "We've got four skin jobs walking the streets from the Off World Colonies. We need your old magic." .. "I don't work for you anymore." .. "No choice pal." ...

Seen any attack ships on fire off the shore of Cromer lately?
I'm sure you've seen things we people wouldn't believe.
 

Swifty

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Swifty

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It's stopped raining! (for now anyway).
 

Trevp666

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It only rained twice here last week.
Once for 3 days and once for 4 days.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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I must admit I love this time of year. October through to mid-June is favourite. After that until the end of September I tend to get a little down with the weather. I don’t like the heat; I don’t like the bugs, and I can’t stand the fact that in the summer months the trees and bushes outside my house is such that I don’t have a view of anything.

At least at this time of year I can see the main street that runs through the village, I can also see the old 14th century (now abandoned) haunted (allegedly) history ridden village pub.

Most importantly however, is that this time of year on Saturday nights I can see the delivery man from the local Indian take-a-way, walking up my driveway – his brown paper bags full of spicy goodies. :)

Also a plus, is that I can put on a bit of weight and hide it all underneath big jumpers and coats. :D

I can see the 14th century church in our village during the winter, it's the best thing about the season here.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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Full of tourists in the summer?
Sadly it's not really a touristy village. Other than the church, the pub and one or two other older flint buildings it's all post-war.

My house is built on an old pig farm, if I've interpreted old photos properly. Yum.
 

Trevp666

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Well we have had 3 or 4 days in which we were treated to a fair amount of sunshine here, but today has returned to the (much more comfortable) uniform grey, overcast skies.
And the temperature has dropped significantly from the 19c that it was on New Years Eve, currently hovering around 3c, with the forecast predicting temperatures staying close to freezing for the foreseeable.
Recent years have seen us often having the snowy weather most likely to happen during the last week in January, so I might get a chance to test my 4-wheel-drive, although I'm not sure if I have 'winter tyres' on those rims.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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Why would you want tourists to your village unless you live in area dependant on tourist trade? ..

I'd love to live in the kind of village that tourists would want to visit. But without the tourists, if you see what I mean.

I grew up in Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick, and lived in Brighton for years - I've had my share of tourists. There's only so many times sending people in the wrong direction is funny.
 

brownmane

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Yep it's January. -8C to -12C depending on who you're talking to. My car says -8. No snow cover means it's bitter cold (though nowhere near as cold as the northern areas of Canada). As much as I hate snow, when there is a bit of coverage, the house is warmer, and the day seems brighter.
 

catseye

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I thought I really disliked the cold. My cottage is usually modestly warm, but I don't run the heating every day, just light the log burner every couple of days and the thick walls keep the heat in. This suits me and, I thought, kept the place nice and toasty.

Until my daughter came to stay over Christmas. She had the log burner lit, the heating on and was still wrapped in a blanket saying she was cold. I had to take the dog out into the frosty chill about five times a day just so I didn't drowse off into some kind of twilight sleep.

Have thusly discovered that I don't mind a bit of cold, and prefer my money in my bank account rather than being burned to keep the cottage at twenty five degrees.
 

brownmane

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The outgoing head of the US National Weather Service claims the biggest problem with effective weather forecasting is getting people to understand what the forecasts mean.

FULL STORY: https://www.npr.org/2022/01/07/1070...tting-people-to-understand-them-is-even-harde
I have to admit, I didn't understand that the "chance percentage" referred to coverage of an area. How useful is that figure if you have no idea of area that it is reporting about. The weather station that is closest to me is London, though I don't really know where the station is situated. So it could possibly be 26-45 km away from me and we definitely have "lake effect" that causes quite variable results of what type of weather we really get.

I do really look at the sky to figure out what the current weather may be.
 

brownmane

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I thought I really disliked the cold. My cottage is usually modestly warm, but I don't run the heating every day, just light the log burner every couple of days and the thick walls keep the heat in. This suits me and, I thought, kept the place nice and toasty.

Until my daughter came to stay over Christmas. She had the log burner lit, the heating on and was still wrapped in a blanket saying she was cold. I had to take the dog out into the frosty chill about five times a day just so I didn't drowse off into some kind of twilight sleep.

Have thusly discovered that I don't mind a bit of cold, and prefer my money in my bank account rather than being burned to keep the cottage at twenty five degrees.
25C? That would be way too warm for me. In winter my home is set for 19C during daytime that I'm home and 18C for nighttime and any other time.
 

catseye

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25C? That would be way too warm for me. In winter my home is set for 19C during daytime that I'm home and 18C for nighttime and any other time.
Ditto. The house is usually somewhere around 15 degrees. Daughter had the radiator thermostat set to 25 and both the dog and I were cooking, whilst she was shivering under her blanket. HER house, on the other hand, is usually chilly.
 

brownmane

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Ditto. The house is usually somewhere around 15 degrees. Daughter had the radiator thermostat set to 25 and both the dog and I were cooking, whilst she was shivering under her blanket. HER house, on the other hand, is usually chilly.
My sister usually has her house low (I'm guessing about 15C). I always keep my coat on. That is FREEZING for me lol.
 

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I remember when I lived in Staffordshire, some bloke from Arizona moved to our town for a short while. We had to go round his flat and show him how to switch his gas fire on one day because of course, coming from Arizona, he'd never seen one before.
 

catseye

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My sister usually has her house low (I'm guessing about 15C). I always keep my coat on. That is FREEZING for me lol.
15 degrees is all right if you are moving about. I'm not going to put the heating on to heat the house on days I'm going to work, because by the time I come home it's bed time and I'm not heating the place for the dog!

I used to pine for heating when I lived in my old house (nothing but an open fire), but a combination of thick walls, electricity going up in price by the day, and wearing a jumper, means that I can keep my heating off for the majority of the time. Unless I'm ill or spending an entire day on the sofa for some reason.
 

Trevp666

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I think we're going for the record here.
The record for longest continuous spell of grey.
Today has excelled itself though.
Not only is it uniformly grey again, at 8c, and damp and drizzly, but also it's additionally misty.
The forecast is giving us a rumour that the sun might make an appearance at 3pm tomorrow afternoon, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

catseye

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I find myself confused by my forecast on my phone too, When it says 40% rain, I know it means 40% CHANCE of rain, but then I have to do complicated maths to work out whether or not it's worth fetching the washing in. Is it 40% chance of some fine drizzle or 40% chance of torrential downpour?
 

brownmane

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I think we're going for the record here.
The record for longest continuous spell of grey.
Today has excelled itself though.
Not only is it uniformly grey again, at 8c, and damp and drizzly, but also it's additionally misty.
The forecast is giving us a rumour that the sun might make an appearance at 3pm tomorrow afternoon, but I'm not holding my breath.
I have light grey and some sun. But it comes with -9C and windchill of about -15.

I saw a person walking down street (possibly homeless) trying to keep a blanket on his shoulders. I think he had a jacket on, but not sure. He was walking down the street that has a homeless shelter, so I was hoping that he was headed there. There was a car right behind me soI didn't stop to ask him if he needed a ride. Unfortunately my above reasonings talked me out of it. Next time I will have to stop, just to make sure the person is ok.
 

EnolaGaia

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I find myself confused by my forecast on my phone too, When it says 40% rain, I know it means 40% CHANCE of rain ... Is it 40% chance of some fine drizzle or 40% chance of torrential downpour?

The percentage isn't about general probability. It's about coverage of the forecast area. It means 40% of the forecast area is expected to get some rain (of any measurable type).
 

Swifty

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I think we're going for the record here.
The record for longest continuous spell of grey.
Today has excelled itself though.
Not only is it uniformly grey again, at 8c, and damp and drizzly, but also it's additionally misty.
The forecast is giving us a rumour that the sun might make an appearance at 3pm tomorrow afternoon, but I'm not holding my breath.
I think your observation deserves that parody of Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb. But if it had been made about the UK instead.

 

Gloucestrian

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The percentage isn't about general probability. It's about coverage of the forecast area. It means 40% of the forecast area is expected to get some rain (of any measurable type).
That doesn't make much sense though, for the UK Met Office anyway - their forecasts cover their specific meteorological regions for which there are only one or two stations so if that is how it is supposed to work, how can they verify? Bear in mind our Met Office has a deterministic model that has a high resolution grid (1.5 km) and a coarser grid (4 km) that are used to prepare forecasts for each region. Thus they can provide a forecast for Gloucester that is quite distinct to the one provided for Cheltenham, just a few miles away, for example. I have found that the Met Office is generally pretty good, when the forecast is correct it is accurate to time and temperature based on independent observations. When they're wrong they're very wrong but the UK has such dynamic weather that it can be very difficult for any model to predict.

The Met Office forecast explainer does state that the chance of precipitation is just that: chance that precipitation will occur.
I suspect that might be a difference in methodology and how to read a forecast between the UK and the US.

Edit to add: Yep, found this from the US NOAA that confirms what EnolaGaia said but specifies that their grid works on a 5 km and that it does mean any measurable precipitation over that area. That system probably works really well in a continental climate but would not be adequate in our oceanic climate.
 
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catseye

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The percentage isn't about general probability. It's about coverage of the forecast area. It means 40% of the forecast area is expected to get some rain (of any measurable type).
But I have a forecast for a very small local area. If 40% of that area got rain, the rest of it would get rain too.
Edited to add this.... '






Most of the time, the forecaster is expressing a combination of degree of confidence and areal coverage. If the forecaster is only 50% sure that precipitation will occur in 80% of the area, the PoP (chance of rain) is 40%.
 

maximus otter

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But I have a forecast for a very small local area. If 40% of that area got rain, the rest of it would get rain too.
Edited to add this.... '






Most of the time, the forecaster is expressing a combination of degree of confidence and areal coverage. If the forecaster is only 50% sure that precipitation will occur in 80% of the area, the PoP (chance of rain) is 40%.

Yeah, but “60% of the time it works every time.

maximus otter
 
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