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January 6, 2021 3:17 pm  #1


Weather – Or Not

I’m one of those viewers that agrees with many surveys – weather on a TV newscast is one of the most important elements of the broadcast, especially in the winter in a country like Canada. And I get that forecasting the future is still a bit of an inexact science, even to this day. But the thing that drives me crazy isn’t that they get it wrong. It's  that they never explain why.
 
Case in point: for the past three or four days, we’ve been mired in the middle of some gloomy, grey conditions, with every day as dreary as the last. Cut to Saturday’s TV weather people (primarily CFTO, but they’ve all done it.)
 
On the weekend, they told viewers to wait a few days and the sun would return by Tuesday. The same forecast was issued on Sunday. Monday arrived and all of a sudden the predictions changed. “One more day of clouds,” they told us, “before things get better and brighter by Wednesday.” The graphics showed mostly sunny skies were in the offing then. But that's not what they'd said 24 and 48 hours earlier. 
 
Cut to today – now not only are they telling us that it will continue to be gloomy and grey, but that it will be Friday before we can all sing "Here Comes The Sun.".
 
My issue with this isn’t exactly that they were wrong four days in a row and telling us incorrect information. It’s that they never have to own up to getting it incorrect. I’d like to see an explanation of how they predicted three days of sun that never came. What happened? Did another front move in? Did a system stall out?
 
But instead, like a federal politician, they seem incapable of acknowledging they were wrong. The fact they blew it is never, ever mentioned on air. I, for one, would like an explanation of why those sunny days they promised us never came to pass. This week was especially egregious, since their predictions were incorrect for at least three days in a row. And who knows if it will really clear up by Friday. If it doesn't, you won't hear a word about it on your local newscast.
 
I don’t entirely blame the on-air weather folk. They get their info from Environment Canada. But they owe it to their viewers to explain why they got it so consistently wrong. It hurts their already limited credibility. And, if you’ll pardon the expression, clouds my judgment of them.

 

January 6, 2021 3:58 pm  #2


Re: Weather – Or Not

Can't say why they don't admit a screw up, but can say that around London, surrounded by the lakes, is one of the most difficult places to accurately predict weather any time of the year.  I'm sure some of it is the same for the GTA.  I did hear Frankie this morning state that he thought we were going to have sunshine today, but the clouds were going to hang on a while longer.  Not an admission per se, but an acknowledgment of a past weather forecast.

That said, I did see the sun for about 90 seconds this morning.. bright and refreshing!!!

Last edited by pinto (January 6, 2021 3:58 pm)

 

January 6, 2021 3:59 pm  #3


Re: Weather – Or Not

Sun has been shinning out here in Burlington for the past 45 mins. or so... 

 

January 6, 2021 4:11 pm  #4


Re: Weather – Or Not

Please send it this way. I forget what it looks like!

     Thread Starter
 

January 6, 2021 6:18 pm  #5


Re: Weather – Or Not

Weather forecasting has been impacted by Covid-19. How so? Meteorologists rely on weather data from many different locations, including commercial aircraft. With fewer planes in the air, there's less data being gathered from the atmosphere, and there has been some evidence of less accurate weather forecasting since March 2020 as a result.

 

January 6, 2021 6:46 pm  #6


Re: Weather – Or Not

Y'all need to upgrade your weather radars....

"Doppler 4000...  Its twice as good as Doppler 2000"

 

January 6, 2021 7:00 pm  #7


Re: Weather – Or Not

Weather is the only job where you can make mistakes over and over and not get punished.

Its been a weird winter....primarily in the GTA its like Miami compared to 40 mins north and onwards where a proper winter resides, thus due to the lakes.

 

January 6, 2021 8:39 pm  #8


Re: Weather – Or Not

One could grant benefit of the doubt if ALL weather sources report the same thing. 
Eventually though, one has to wonder who is more accurate in delivering a good weather report.

 

 

January 17, 2021 10:40 am  #9


Re: Weather – Or Not

Another case where a proofreader would have been handy...But it kind of does get the message across.

https://i.ibb.co/kJnW9gb/wx.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

January 17, 2021 11:35 pm  #10


Re: Weather – Or Not

Not to sound like a conspiracy nut but 5G may have a serious impact on weather forecasting.  Weather forecasting is made of weather modeling from all over the world pieced together to make predictions.  In recent decades the modelling has improved dramatically, but one of the frequencies 5G will use is 23.8 gigahertz which is a frequency where water vapour emits a weak signal.  This could greatly affect our ability to measure and predict humidity, which can throw all sorts of data points out of whack.  So weather forecasting may get worse in the near future.  The FCC under Trump has disputed this.

Last edited by Prod Guy (January 17, 2021 11:36 pm)

 

January 18, 2021 4:08 am  #11


Re: Weather – Or Not

We all carry very competent and up to the minute weather in our phones. A click and we know what's happening.

Long ago before everyone had wristwatch - telling the time was a very important part of every radio break. Not so much anymore. 

How long will weather reports both on radio and TV matter? Only the future knows. 

 

January 18, 2021 12:06 pm  #12


Re: Weather – Or Not

As my late father used to say, "The weatherman is never wrong.  But on occasion his timing is off."

 

January 18, 2021 12:18 pm  #13


Re: Weather – Or Not

Back when he was a weatherman for City TV, the great David Onley once told me, "Canada is eight months of winter - and four months of poor ice conditions." 

     Thread Starter
 

January 18, 2021 12:39 pm  #14


Re: Weather – Or Not

David Onley went from greatness on City TV to become a low ranking civil servant.  

 

January 18, 2021 1:37 pm  #15


Re: Weather – Or Not

Well, I can't let that stand. David Onley is a friend of mine who never sought the Lt.-Gov.'s position in Ontario. He was nominated by none other than Ann Rohmer, who I believe got her dad's (the General's) help to get the message to then P.M. Stephen Harper. Everyone who heard of the idea was totally in favour of it and agreed it made perfect sense to nominate David. 

He once noted that he was driving in his car when the P.M. called him out of the blue to offer him the job, and he had to pull over, he was so stunned by the opportunity. He apparently had no idea it was coming.  

I'm no fan of the monarchy, but the job not only allowed him to meet the Queen and other world dignitaries, but he used the position not for his own self-aggrandizement, but to bring attention to the disabled. David suffered from polio as a child and uses a scooter to get around.

He discovered many government buildings weren't accessible when he started and he made sure that changed in a hurry, He did a lot for that community, and I would be bold enough to say he was the best Lt.-Gov. this province has ever had.

Add to that, this - in a business like broadcasting, where people often snipe at each other behind their backs, David is the one person I have never heard a single negative word about. Not ever. He's genuinely a nice guy and a very decent human being. And you don't come across those too often.     

Low ranking civil-servant? I think not.  

I know you believe your snide and often ageist comments here are hilarous. Mostly they're just insulting. But in this case, you've really missed the mark. David Onley deserves better.  

     Thread Starter
 

January 18, 2021 1:51 pm  #16


Re: Weather – Or Not

grilled.cheese wrote:

David Onley went from greatness on City TV to become a low ranking civil servant.  

sorry GC, but His Honour David Onley elevated the stature of the "civil servant"

He is a true gentleman and one of the best

He will always be "great" in my opinion

 

 

January 18, 2021 2:02 pm  #17


Re: Weather – Or Not

RadioActive wrote:

Well, I can't let that stand. David Onley is a friend of mine who never sought the Lt.-Gov.'s position in Ontario. He was nominated by none other than Ann Rohmer, who I believe got her dad's (the General's) help to get the message to then P.M. Stephen Harper. Everyone who heard of the idea was totally in favour of it and agreed it made perfect sense to nominate David. 

He once noted that he was driving in his car when the P.M. called him out of the blue to offer him the job, and he had to pull over, he was so stunned by the opportunity. He apparently had no idea it was coming.  

I'm no fan of the monarchy, but the job not only allowed him to meet the Queen and other world dignitaries, but he used the position not for his own self-aggrandizement, but to bring attention to the disabled. David suffered from polio as a child and uses a scooter to get around.

He discovered many government buildings weren't accessible when he started and he made sure that changed in a hurry, He did a lot for that community, and I would be bold enough to say he was the best Lt.-Gov. this province has ever had.

Add to that, this - in a business like broadcasting, where people often snipe at each other behind their backs, David is the one person I have never heard a single negative word about. Not ever. He's genuinely a nice guy and a very decent human being. And you don't come across those too often.     

Low ranking civil-servant? I think not.  

I know you believe your snide and often ageist comments here are hilarous. Mostly they're just insulting. But in this case, you've really missed the mark. David Onley deserves better.  

👍👍
 

 

January 18, 2021 2:02 pm  #18


Re: Weather – Or Not

In Phase wrote:

grilled.cheese wrote:

David Onley went from greatness on City TV to become a low ranking civil servant.  

sorry GC, but His Honour David Onley elevated the stature of the "civil servant"

He is a true gentleman and one of the best

He will always be "great" in my opinion

 

👍👍
 

 

January 18, 2021 2:29 pm  #19


Re: Weather – Or Not

It's not like he's Mike Duffy who defied the laws of physics by being in two places at once.  

 

January 25, 2021 11:11 am  #20


Re: Weather – Or Not

I'm back on this old rant again because I have an important medical appointment at a hospital downtown this week and so have been paying more attention than normal to the weather forecast. On Friday, I remember being told we were in for a relatively dry week in Southern Ontario. 

Then, on Sunday night, I was being told there was a possibility of some snow on Tuesday, maybe about two centimetres, which is nothing. 

And now I turn on the radio Monday to be told we are going to be clobbered by a 5-10 cm. snowstorm starting Tuesday. WTF? Where did that come from? As noted earlier in this thread, weather forecasting is never an exact science and things are indeed, changeable. But how do we go from no snow, to a little snow to a major dump in less than 48 hours? 

I'm really, really, really getting tired of not being able to get accurate information on something this important, especially in the depths of a Toronto winter. Can anybody be relied on for an accurate forecast anymore? Who do you believe, if anyone?

     Thread Starter
 

January 25, 2021 11:19 am  #21


Re: Weather – Or Not

It's been no better across the lake. Just trying to figure out when it will be totally overcast and when there will be peeks of sun so I can get my daily small dose of fresh air and get out for a socially distanced walk has been a challenge. The forecasts almost never match the reality lately. 

 

January 25, 2021 11:19 am  #22


Re: Weather – Or Not

RadioActive wrote:

I'm back on this old rant again because I have an important medical appointment at a hospital downtown this week and so have been paying more attention than normal to the weather forecast. On Friday, I remember being told we were in for a relatively dry week in Southern Ontario. 

Then, on Sunday night, I was being told there was a possibility of some snow on Tuesday, maybe about two centimetres, which is nothing. 

And now I turn on the radio Monday to be told we are going to be clobbered by a 5-10 cm. snowstorm starting Tuesday. WTF? Where did that come from? As noted earlier in this thread, weather forecasting is never an exact science and things are indeed, changeable. But how do we go from no snow, to a little snow to a major dump in less than 48 hours? 

I'm really, really, really getting tired of not being able to get accurate information on something this important, especially in the depths of a Toronto winter. Can anybody be relied on for an accurate forecast anymore? Who do you believe, if anyone?

So on youtube there are quite a few basement "meterologists" who have their own channels and have access to the same sources of models and data of weather that lets say environment canada has and have been watching them.  For example they track North America in general and post about storms.  This one for Tuesday they have hinted about in this area of the continent since over a week ago...problem with these storms is the way they track especially when it comes to snow.  One movement more to the north and south and the amounts can change quite a bit.   I think thats whats happened.
 

 

January 25, 2021 11:29 am  #23


Re: Weather – Or Not

You're probably right, the track changed. But it's very frustrating to try to plan for something only to have a huge forecast shift less than 24 hours later. With all the computer models, future forecasts, radar, etc., there has to be a way to get more accurate predictions. This is starting to happen far too often, and no one ever calls them on the fact what we were told yesterday is the exact opposite of what they're saying today. 

How about at least acknowledging that they got it wrong, just once?  

I'm probably just being cranky because I'm really dreading having to go downtown to a hospital in the middle of a COVID outbreak. But one thing is for certain - I really, really, miss the summer!  

     Thread Starter
 

January 25, 2021 11:39 am  #24


Re: Weather – Or Not

Yelling at the clouds is pretty cathartic.  Just do it inside.  People outside tend to stare and judge.

Last edited by Bentwater (January 25, 2021 11:40 am)

 

January 25, 2021 11:43 am  #25


Re: Weather – Or Not

How did you know I was in the paper this morning? Sadly, the cloud was not available for comment. 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Y76BvD4Kyfg/hqdefault.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

January 25, 2021 11:58 am  #26


Re: Weather – Or Not

One thing I have noticed is the weather people now tend to cover their butts by explaining that if the jet stream moves in a certain direction, this will affect the storm models they have been tracking. They can't say We Don't Know! Much better for them to forcast rain or snow or a rain/snow mix or if the temperature goes up or down a degree maybe some freezing rain. Clear as mud. I often use the NOAA weather app. Not any help if the day will be sunny or cloudy, but is amazingly accurate on approaching snow [blue] or rain [red,yellow,green] storms. It even has detailed watches and warnings for the continental U.S. which can be useful if/when travel resumes.

 

January 25, 2021 12:07 pm  #27


Re: Weather – Or Not

I learned a long time ago you really can't predict weather with any accuracy more than 24 hours in advance.
 

 

January 25, 2021 12:32 pm  #28


Re: Weather – Or Not

Quite a few years ago, during one of the four times I was at CHML, quick hits which featured conversations with the local Environment Canada experts (careful, now) would become part of our daily drive-time menu. Prior to that becoming fact, a couple of us wound up at the Mt. Hope airport to discuss what the technical terms in the forecasts -- 30 per cent chance, etc. -- really meant.

We came away with a pretty good overall picture. Most important:

1. They really didn't want to commit to anything beyond what would happen the next day.

2. The possibility of change became greater the further down the line you went (e.g. 7-day forecast).

But 3. The key to remember, and the reason that we don't always get what they say, is the Great Lakes
make this one of the toughest areas in the world to do accurate weather forecasts.

That was back in the '80s. Sound like this week?

 

January 25, 2021 12:40 pm  #29


Re: Weather – Or Not

I remember it well

Environment Canada used to have an actual office with actual people at Hamilton International Airport.

 

January 25, 2021 5:36 pm  #30


Re: Weather – Or Not

Broodcaster wrote:

I learned a long time ago you really can't predict weather with any accuracy more than 24 hours in advance.
 

agreed. shorter the duration of prediction = increased accuracy of the forecast. anything beyond "tomorrow" is a crap shoot at best (there are just too many variables). the words "50% chance of..." should be included in long range forecasts.
meanwhile, i only go with trusted forecasters....
https://www.almanac.com/