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Predicting the Weather is Hard

April 14, 2013

If the weather would actually do what the forecasters predict the drought in Colorado would be over.  Since the beginning of March the national weather forecasters have predicted two separate significant snow storms.  Would you like to guess how many times they have been right?  ZERO times.  We have had one significant snow storm in the same time period, but that was one they were predicting clear weather with almost no chance of precipitation.

 

Last night I went to bed before Elaine.  When she came to bed, she informed me it was raining outside.  She opened the window to allow us to listen to the rain.  I couldn’t stand it, I had to get up and check the forecast one last time.  I have admitted before, I am a weather addict.

 

The weather forecast predicted that the rain will change to snow overnight and by morning we will have 2-4 inches of snow.  You guessed it, the morning brought clear skies with not so much as a flake of snow on the ground.

 

I have had the pleasure of building a facility for the atmospheric sciences department of a nearby university.  The scientists at atmospheric sciences are the people that track the weather and tell us when we are about to get hit by a meteor from outer space.  The project took a year and I became friends with a bunch of the scientists.  They even asked me to play on their city league softball team.

 

OK, I can’t stand it.  As much as I don’t like to write about my glory days, I have to tell you about playing softball with these guys.  This group of guys were mostly in their thirties.  Me?  I was in my fifties and the oldest (player?) on the team.  Most of them had PhD in something.  They loved their softball.

 

The team was average, at best.  I have been on better teams, but of course you know that (or I wouldn’t be writing about this right now).  We didn’t win many games.

 

My fellow players loved to take their turn at batting (as all players do).  This group of Doctors would swing the bat as if they were knocking a meteor out of the sky.  Unfortunately, they mostly hit the ball to an outfielder for an easy out.  Me?  I played a more cerebral game than that.  I tried not to hit it as hard, and knot where the other team was standing.  I was the best hitter on the team!  You guessed that, didn’t you?

 

I would tap the ball just over the infield and run to first base.  Well, it was running to me!  At least I didn’t fall down!  Then I would wait for the rest of my team to hit it to an outfielder so I wouldn’t need to run to second base.  As I said e didn’t win many games and I didn’t get any votes for MVP.  I guessed it was because I was an outsider and they were a bunch of nerdy scientists.

 

That felt good!  I’m glad I told that story.

 

Let get back to the weather.  Chatting with these scientists about weather forecasting after softball games can be enlightening.  My friends (they will still be my friends if they don’t read the softball story) tell me that water prediction along the front range of the Rockies is difficult because the mountains can alter the wind patterns and the direction of the storms.

 

So, as disappointing as the weather forecasts are, I have learned to accept the fact that it will snow when it snows.  But the nice thing is this group of nerds have a 12 million dollar facility to watch the weather, tell us when we are about to be hit by a meteor and plan the softball season.

 

Me?  I’m going to watch the weather by looking out my couple of hundred dollar windows and try to get on a better softball team.

 

Our crazy lives!

 

Monner

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