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Forecasting the Future

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Forecasting the Future

There may be showers in the forecast, but it is still an excellent time for planting!


I will admit to an obsessive compulsion towards the weather forecast.   This time of year, I will look at it several times a day. My fixation on it seems to be even more frequent when it is not giving me the desired weather outlook.  I’ve been looking a lot this week. What I want to see is a 10-day forecast with sunshine and mid-seventies for high temperatures during the day, and every three days or so about a quarter of an inch of rainfall overnight, between midnight and 4am.  Is it unreasonable for me to want that?


I’m going to answer my own question.  No.  It is not unreasonable to want it; it is simply unreasonable to expect it.  As I gaze into the crystal ball of weather life, it would appear to be partly cloudy, with a chance of showers.  Saying ‘showers in the forecast’ is a way of saying that it is going to rain, but don’t change your plans.  I have seen the “R” word used in multiple instances for the coming days weather-wise.


Actually, the term most frequently used this time of year, and going forward is thunderstorms, along with his ‘hit and miss’ cousin, scattered thunderstorms.  For the record, scattered thunderstorms are thunderstorms that are happening somewhere else.  If rain, lightening, and thunder are occurring where you are, it is not scattered. I don’t pretend to know with accuracy what the actual meteorological prognostication outlook for the near future holds.  I might not like for there to be ‘rain on my parade’, but I will take it over what we all went through nine years ago.


As it turns out, hindcasting the past is a lot more accurate than forecasting the future. Even if the forecast doesn’t suit me, there’s no need to get in a twist over it.  May flowers are here; come on out! My forecast says, “We’ll have what you are looking for.”  There’s a good chance you’ll find something unexpected!


David Bates


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