Is it speculation or atmospheric science?There may be good days that the Lord has made but I will not lay the whole of spring in North Dakota at his door. This has been an inadequate start to the summer season. The Bible says that weather falls on the just and the unjust but, if you ask me, the just have been taking it in the shorts this spring.
By: Lloyd Omdahl, The Jamestown Sun
There may be good days that the Lord has made but I will not lay the whole of spring in North Dakota at his door. This has been an inadequate start to the summer season. The Bible says that weather falls on the just and the unjust but, if you ask me, the just have been taking it in the shorts this spring.
It’s sad enough that it has been cold and wet since February but then the weather forecasters compounded the unreliability of nature with unreliability of their own. I have concluded that those folks touting atmospheric science as a science should be more subdued in their claims.
If anything, science suggests predictability. Weather consists of too many variables to be predictable. Therefore, it should not be considered a science. It should be called atmospheric speculation. At least, that would lower everyone’s expectations of accuracy.
When I was in the eighth grade, we had a calendar on the library door of Conway Consolidated School District #64 that gave the weather for every day of the year. When I asked the teacher how they could do that, he said that it was like throwing a brick in a crowd — you were bound to hit somebody. This spring, we all got bricked.
Because only serious gardeners live at our house, we are very sensitive to the weather, meaning that we watch the long-term predictions made by the atmospheric scientists on the 6 and 10 o-clock news and then check them against the Weather Channel. Promises vary considerable between the two so we always believe the one we like best. It really doesn’t make much difference because they are usually both wrong.
The six-day projections are worthless. They build up great hopes — hopes on which you make plans for a great weekend. Twelve hours later, the forecasts are being revised and the weekend weather goes through a series of revisions. The level of accuracy deteriorates rapidly with the passage of time.
To convey a sense of accuracy, these atmospheric scientists have developed a terminology that is understood only by the U.S. Weather Service. For winter, we have snow advisories, snow alerts, and etc., etc. For summer, I expect we will have low cloud alerts, breeze threats, wet rain warnings, sun rise advisories and full moon alarms. In North Dakota, it is always safe to predict “gusty winds likely.”
This whole tirade has been brought on by the miserable spring weather that has carried us into summer without our tomatoes in the ground. The early peas came up but went back into the ground in mid-May. For that, someone must pay and it’s traditional to shoot the messenger.
(Lloyd Omdahl, of Grand Forks, is a former lieutenant governor, state tax commissioner and state budget director)