Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow job

Well, the snow didn't come when it was supposed to and when it did show up it packed not a wintry punch, but rather a wee pinch. Now there are grumbles all over Greater Boston about how the forecast was blown and how meteorologists don't know what they're doing. In these situations, I often rise to the defense of weather professionals.

It's true that we were expecting close to a foot in the city today, and as a result schools were closed, public employees were told to stay home, the plows were ready to go, and all eyes were on the sky. However, forecasting the weather involves multitude of factors, any of which can change suddenly, causing storm systems and other meteorological phenomena to alter their course or behave differently. The fact that most forecasts are on target is often overlooked.

There is significant snow to the south of Boston, and a number of places -- most notably, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington -- got walloped today. Airport closures caused nearly 6,000 flights to be canceled, the National Guard was called out in DC, and Maryland's governor is asking that his state be declared a disaster area.

Newscasts said that 100,000,000 million people were affected by the storm, which ranged from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic and into the Northeast. Just because it didn't snow on my house is no reason for me to whine about the forecast.

1 comment:

N.starluna said...

I was one of those impacted by the storm. I was supposed to fly back from Atlanta on Wednesday, but ended up having to come back Thursday afternoon. Other than being really tired for my 6 pm Thursday night class, I don't think it was as much of a big deal to me as it was for other people I was with who had to reschedule child care and other responsibilities. And I got to hang out with people whom I don't often get a chance to see.

The views of the South from the air were pretty amazing. DC was blanketed in snow, which I've never seen before.