Forecasting the weather is not an exact science

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2015

Weather is one of the more unpredictable things in our world. For all of the advances we’ve accomplished in weather forecasting, predictions are not always a guarantee of what the weather will actually be.
Take the recent snowstorm in the Northeast for example. While New England did experience a major snowfall, predictions for New York fell short, leaving many in the city affected by the precautions to shut down public transport a bit disgruntled.
While forecasting the weather with 100 percent accuracy is still under development, it is much better than it used to be.
Can you imagine living in a world before weather predictions?
While residents of the South don’t have to worry much about snowstorms, we do have hurricanes.
Just imagine not knowing what a hurricane is, and discovering their power through the first one to make landfall in your lifetime. Encountering such a storm unaware must have been a frightening ordeal.
Even though technology has provided computer models and satellite feeds, accurately predicting where any storm will strike or the damage it will bring is a ways off.
Does anyone remember Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that was supposed to make landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but turned at the last minute? It eventually crossed the continental United States, reentered the Atlantic Ocean and then crossed back over Florida before reentering the Gulf of Mexico. None of what actually happened was forecast by weather reports of the time.
In fact that storm’s diversion from Mississippi’s path led many in Pearl River County to doubt whether Katrina would affect us when it entered the Gulf the following year.
So, while many in New York may be perturbed by the inaccuracy of the snowstorm predictions, they should be happy that precautions were taken. It’s better to be prepared for a non-event, than be caught off guard when the next Katrina makes landfall.

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