Why do I look at weather forecasts when I am planning travel or local activities? I used to chuckle when my husband religiously checked the weather forecasts before soccer weekends. And to what purpose? They rarely seemed to hit the mark.
So why did I start using one of the weather sites on the internet every time I planned a trip or contemplated a bike ride? I don't have a good answer to that question since the only thing I have learned is that weather forecasts give me nothing I can rely on.
It reached the point that the weather site was so consistently WIDE of the mark that a prediction of inclement weather was heartening to me because I knew I could expect the opposite.
My daughter directed me to a different web-site that she claimed was awesome. So I have started using it to see if it is any more accurate than the weather guessers I was looking at previously. I have been sadly disappointed.
Let me give today as an example. At 11:30 I wanted to ride my bike locally to do some errands for about an hour. So what might I expect in the way of weather conditions? I looked up the hourly report for my locale. It told me that from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm there was a likelihood of thunderstorms (very rare where I live) and 100% probability of precipitation. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. Do you know what that means?? NO CHANCE of it NOT RAINING. Well, that sounded like a challenge to me, so off I went on my errands from 11:30 to 12:30. Do you want to guess? I saw nary a drop of rain during my mostly blue sky outing.
OK, I gave them one more chance. In the late afternoon I determined I would take another ride to the neighboring town from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. So I looked up that location on the hourly forecast. There was exactly the same prediction as the one I read for my town at noontime: thunderstorms likely with 100% probability of precipitation between 4 pm and 7 pm. Once again I took an hour-long ride under an intensely blue sky with a few scattered clouds.
I don't understand. I wasn't asking for the odds of what the weather would be like 10 days in the future. I was looking for conditions AT THAT VERY MOMENT! How could there be 100 percent probability of rain under a mostly blue sky?
I can draw only two conclusions:
1) I apparently look to the weather reports in the same way that a little child yearns to hear a fairy tale.
2) Since my experience has turned out to be that the forecasts I have read over the last several years have not been accurate one single time I could qualify as a weather-guesser and consistently be more accurate than the published forecasts I've seen...even if I were right only half the time!