Author Topic: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?  (Read 683 times)

glort

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Got a message from Bob today to say the wind turned the fire away from him but still no rain.

I checked the forecast For Sydney and as usual, it's been revised to about a 175o turnaround on what it's been most of the week.
Got me thinking about the accuracy of the weather forecasts here.
Yesterday we were forecast to get good rain, 50 Mm or for those in the states using the old antiquated system, in imperial, 50mm is , ahh,,,, 50mm!  :laugh:

I think last night we got about 3, going on, but not quite, 4 Drops.
Wasn't just here, predictions fell painfully short all over.
Most of the week has been a prediction for good rain for the weekend. Look it up now, of course it's revised to a trickle.

AND.... my favourite BS of all.... " Chance of....."  " Possible  xxxx"  " Likley  XXX..... "
WTF is with all the words of chance?  I could say " there is a chance of" with nothing at all to go on and I have the scpegoat of  " well, I said " chance" and now and then I'd have to get it right.  thee is a " chance" AND a " Possibility of" me winning the lottery too but thats no more assured than the weather bureau's predictions getting up and being accurate.

Something I have noticed for years.... they tend to predict rain that does not happen rather than predict sunshine when it turns out rain.   I often wonder if this is a social/ political/ PR type thing.  Tell people it's going to rain and when you get  a few clouds and that's it,  they are much happier than if you tell them it will be sunshine and they get their arses wet.  Perhaps a case of people being more happy when you are wrong than when you are right.

I know nothing about weather forecasting BUT, they do talk about all the high tech they have and the Millions they invest in equipment and operations each year but the accuracy in my book is pretty poor. Their worst predictions seem to come with their extreme warnings.  This year already I distinctly remember  warnings for extreme heat with all sorts of warning to stay out the sun, make sure pets have shelter and water, prop granny in front of the AC and make sure she has some water as well and so it went.  Turned out to be warm  but cooler days than what we already had and nothing near the fire and brimstone they scared the doodoo out of everyone with. 

Same with storms.... batten the hatches, Drag out the "ol Ark and check the lister is fueled up in it and hang onto your hat... and roof.
And what happens, everywhere? Nothing more than a good stiff breeze and a passing shower. Literally!
I understand it's probably difficult in the extreme to say is going to be  25 or 23 tomorrow and it turns out 3 degree either way but when you are putting the fear of a spiritual Daiety into a couple of Million people, You'd want to get it right a lot more than you get it wrong.... But they don't.

There is the old thing with the Globull warming concern about how can they predict 50 years when they can't tell what the weather will be like Next Tuesday and it's true! they predict seasons 3 Months away and that's not even close and so it goes. I really find no basis for the predictions to ever be right based on decades of past predictions and even the ones they make now.

Is just the Oz weather forecasters that would do better to ask Aunt Tilly if her Lumbago is acting up and keep a Cow in the back yard so they can look out and see if  ol Besse is sitting down before they roll the dice, stick their head out the window and make a guess with the same sort of reliability as they get it right now, or do they have some accuracy and reliability where you live?

38ac

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 01:04:08 PM »
I call them weather guessers, that says enough about what I think of them I think? 

 Actually I think they could easily do a much better job if they would stick to telling us what they think the weather is going to be instead of telling us we need to wear a coat, or need sunblock, how to drive in the rain or snow and such. It would also help if they would quit crying  storm wolf every time the sky clouds up.

In this day and age with the weather in my short pocket device the only reason to watch it on TV is the women they hire to do it ;)
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Johndoh

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 12:11:59 AM »
If I want to know what the weather is like I look out the window, Irish weather forecasters are highly inaccurate
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glort

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 01:41:26 AM »

Seems it's just not our forecasters that are lacking in accuracy.
i'm sure it's a difficult thing but why not just say that?  Reading the Oz BOM, they go on and on about them being a world class meteorologic facility and their commitment to providing the best service possible and otherwise make you think their predictions are highly reliable. They go on about all the latest tech with satellites and monitoring in the ocean and radar etc making you think this is going to be reliable information. Unfortunately it's far from that.

If it's not really possible to be accurate, just say so.  Tell people  This is a very difficult thing to do but this is our best guess.
Seems the people that are in most need of a disclaimer of all, are one of the few that don't have one!


A mate and I have got to forecasting the forecast.  If they say 50% chance of  5MM of rain, you know at best it will be overcast.  If they say 80% of 50MM, then there is a good chance you might actually get some.  Earlier in the year there were a couple of days of 100% chance of 60MM, a significant amount of rain.  Both mate and I noted over those 2 days there was barely more than clouds and we are well separated with him being smack dab in the middle of the forecast area. As he said, for any entity to say 100% which in effect is a guarantee and leaves no margin of error, to get it completely and utterly wrong is nothing more than incompetence on their part. Records showed no rain fell anywhere in the country those days, a significant and worrying error.

As we have both noted, having businesses that rely  on the weather, we are far better off taking our chances than going by forecasts.  We have both put things off waaay too many times for nothing than the times we have gone against the predictions and been Ok.

What I do wonder about is the people in things like shipping and aviation.  Very dangerous for them to not know what they are getting into but maybe like the rest of us, they find it's better to look out the window and take their chances.

mike90045

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2018, 04:56:51 AM »
Here in Northern California, the forecast I get are uncannily accurate.
https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/us/ca/willits/95490?cm_ven=localwx_10day
 I can zoom in on the daily hours and know when the rain shower is going to stop for an hour, to be able to dash to the generator shed and start up the listeroid
  Or if there will be enough sun the next day to charge batteries

Those of you running listeroids, how comfortable are you letting them run for 3 hours unattended after starting them up?  House is far enough away, I can't hear the engine running.

dieselspanner

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2018, 07:36:04 AM »
Try this

https://www.ventusky.com/?p=42.3;-1.3;5&l=rain-3h

It's not too bad for our part of the world, bearing in mind that mountain weather is notoriously changeable.

Personally, having worked afloat for years relying on the BBC shipping forecast for UK waters I think that the forecast is meant to be a likely indication. It's a feature of the internet age that people have come to assume every piece of information, on every subject is pukka, weather systems are a natural phenomena, trains should run on time........

Cheers
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dax021

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 04:36:39 PM »
I have found that yr.no is the most accurate, even for us down here in South Africa

Hugh Conway

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2018, 05:01:21 PM »
A few years back, I wrote to our gov't weather website asking about the deterioration in accuracy of our local forecast. Many times just looking out the window would readily tell you that the forecast was wildly divergent from the actual fact.
In answer, I got the standard reply, something like "Environment Canada is using the latest in computer modeling to give the most accurate possible forecast of weather conditions in your region". 
At the end of the prepared statement, there was a personal note from someone, obviously a meteorologist. You could almost see the tears in his eyes as he apologetically  wrote that  staffing cuts and faulty computer models were a major problem..........the forecasts were made with very little input from humans who actually could "look out of the window", and the forecasts covered a much larger region than earlier human powered local forecasting.
The forecasts are now nearly useless, but money was saved (rerouted to software developers).
Ain't technology grand?
Cheers,
Hugh
BTW, yr.no is generally most accurate here too, except for wind speed.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 05:14:37 PM by Hugh Conway »
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glort

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2018, 07:48:04 PM »
At the end of the prepared statement, there was a personal note from someone, obviously a meteorologist. You could almost see the tears in his eyes as he apologetically  wrote that  staffing cuts and faulty computer models were a major problem..........the forecasts were made with very little input from humans who actually could "look out of the window", and the forecasts covered a much larger region than earlier human powered local forecasting.

That is both astounding  and rather sad.
Clearly a person that took pride in their work and was over ruled by what was probably political correctness  and a cost cutting mandate.
Hard to believe they can get something so important so wrong.

Again, it really makes one wonder what sort of concocted fantasy all these prediction for decades into the  really amount to.  So far they haven't even got them right 10 years in advance. The only chance of getting the 50 year ones in the ballpark are sheer blind dumb luck.

So many thing we spend money on around the world but the fact shortcuts are taken in any first world country with weather forecasting is amazing.
Seems the situation is worse than I ever would have guessed!

EdDee

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2018, 08:10:23 AM »
The only thing of accuracy that I have been able to pick up from any weather report generated for a given geographical area is..... well.... that there will be weather....
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dieselspanner

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2018, 10:23:32 AM »
Up here we get outbreaks of varying temperature from time to time........

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ajaffa1

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2018, 12:20:37 PM »
I love watching the weather forecast and then comparing it to what actually happens.  99 times out of a hundred it`s completely wrong. Where I live we have had a very severe drought followed by catastrophic bush fires. Thursday through till Sunday were forecast for heavy rain, we got about 10 mm on Thursday night and about the same today! Let`s face facts: the Bureau of Meteorology couldn`t predict the winner in a one horse race.

I suspect that they will soon be going to the government demanding more money for super computers and more meteorologists so they can improve their forecasting. This won`t improve anything but will cement the positions of the useless buggers already in place. They will have more staff to manage and an enormous IT budget to administrate. Consequently they will become indispensable and be able to demand increased incomes and benefits, all at the tax payers expense.

All this makes it very difficult to believe in the long term climate predictions about global warming/ climate change. Meteorology is not a precise science so they shouldn`t sell it to us as one, nor should they expect us to foot the bill! I know when it`s going to rain because the ants on my property start building raised dams around their nests to prevent them from drowning. I trust their  predictions far more than the BOM!

Bob

glort

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2018, 01:22:39 PM »

I was looking a bit earlier tonight Bob at the Observations to see how much rain you got.
Most of the eastern seaboard was supposed to get a good drink but they barely got enough to have a sip. Except for a very small area inland from you that got 20mm, the most was 10 out of the predicted high of 50 mm for one day.
I spose 2 Lots of 10 were better than nothing. I don't actualy count it as rain of any consequence till there is 10mm.

Was the rain you got there enough to knock the fires down?

We were supposed to get  between 10 and 25MM of rain each day from fri to today.  I have measured 3mm so far and I think I heard 3 drops a bit earlier.
You are right, again, it is not an exact science and they should not sell it as one.
What They should do is promote it like the footy tips.  You have a guess based on whatever parameter you think ( the ants sound like a great one!)  and that's it.  Make it a bit of fun rather than something that leads to endless disappointment.

I can see we are heading for water restrictions and problems down here again. Dams are at about 65% ARM and falling at about 1% per week.
Once they hit 50% it starts getting serious.  the prediction for the little that's worth is basicaly nothing for the next 3 months so it's not looking good.

I was out the front today walking round and it occurred to me i have mowed my lawns about 5-6 times in the year I have been here.  I know well twice it was only to clean up the leaves and bark that had blown round rather than cut the grass.  I have poured an obscene amount of water into the gardens and lawns  soaking them to the point of runoff at times  but it soaks in and they are dry 2 days later and hard again.

I think it's going to be a hot hard summer until finally the drought is broken and whatever is left is just washed away by flood.
Least Im on the high side of the street and too far up the hill to ever have any flood troubles.


ajaffa1

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2018, 01:54:07 PM »
Hey Buddy, yes it has helped. Do I think it was enough to put out the fires, no. A couple of dry days with the wind picking up and we are back in the sh1t.

My Wife saw one of our local fire fighters today, the lady works in Bunnings, during the day and has been going home and volunteering all night. Poor woman is exhausted but her and the fire crews stopped the fire when it got to within 200 m of her home.

We have a lot of firefighters who have come in from surrounding areas, they are all being housed in hotels in Grafton. I have seen photos of them dancing in the streets on Thursday night when it started to rain. God bless them.

I believe the desalination plant in Sydney is supposed to kick in when reservoir levels drop below 65%. I guess that will only add to the emissions and put further strain on the energy grid.

You had grass to mow? Don`t tell the farmers or they will want to graze their livestock on it! Around here there is no grass at all. I am very worried that this little bit of spring rain will cause any surviving grass seed to germinate. If we don`t get the rain to sustain it, it will die. When it does rain, after that, we will be looking at having to drill grass seed to stop the top soil from washing away.

Bob

glort

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Re: How accurate is the weather forecast in your part of the world?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2018, 03:07:21 PM »

I was looking at info on the desal plant the other day.
It does not feed water out here. There are a couple of dams in the nepean system which is the area I'm in so hopefully we will get the water from them before it goes anywhere else.

Irony here is atm, just 3 years ago there were serious floods in the area.  Guy next door said they couldn't get to the town for 4 Days. Down the road there is a couple of Creeks which both Joined in the 400M of road that seperates them.
Wouldn't even know they are there now.
Most of the dams around here are dry or very close to it. There is a dam more like a lake that one of the creeks feeds into on the edge of town in an open area where they have the Markets and concerts, festivals Etc throughout the year. I saw people walking from one bank tot he other last week. It's so dry I doubt there is even mud in teh bottom now.  Last year when we arrived I was amazed at the size of this lake.

I'm sure when we get the rain it's going to be in torrents and we'll forget what everything looked like Dry.