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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Weather I'm right, weather I'm wrong

Did it seem to you that the weather forecasts were wrong far more often than they were right last week? If you were trying to plan your activities around when the rain was or was not going to be here, too bad. The dirty little secret of meteorology is that 48 hours is about the limit of any kind of accuracy; beyond that, they're just making it up as they go along. And I thought editorial writing was the only profession in which we got paid to express outrageous opinions without even having to be right.

I once asked someone in the weather business what the difference was between "partly cloudy" and "partly sunny." It's simple, I was told: "Partly cloudy" means "mostly sunny," and "partly sunny" means "mostly cloudy." Thanks for clearing that up. And someone asked me recently the difference between "isolated" and "scattered" thunderstorms. I didn't know, so I looked it up. It has nothing to do with where the storms will hit, but how likely they are (which is a whole other category).

If sports and politics are the No. 2 and No. 3 issues about which so much is written and said that is of no long-term usefulness (and they probably are), then weather is No. 1. As George Carlin says, "Tonight's forecast: dark."

Posted in: Our town