Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I No Longer Trust the Weatherman

This morning, based upon the weather information on the news, I cancelled my afternoon classes. According to the weather forecasters, we were to experience freezing rain and sleet which would change to snow, and this would last most of the morning, giving us about two inches of snow. Furthermore, the temperatures would fall throughout the day. One could assume, listening to this information, that we would have snow/ice on the ground, and that this snow would last at least until tomorrow, based upon the promise of low temperatures.

No more than thirty minutes after I cancelled classes, it stopped snowing, and the snow that was beginning to stick onto surfaces began to melt away. Right now, I am looking out my window and can see the shadow of my house because now the sun is starting to shine.

Today, the weather forecasters look at several computer models and pick what they think is the most likely one, but I think that the weather people did a much better job years ago before they began to rely on computers. I think that the old folklore that people used to rely on (example: number of fogs in August equals number of snows in winter) are more accurate than most of the computer models.

Next time, I won't cancel class until I can't get out the driveway.


Tony Arnold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Arnold said...

Caution was well worth it. Last night we hosted my refugee niece and her roommate as Murray Univ forced them to evacuate their dorms and leave the city.

About an hour northwest of Nashville all the way to St. Louis got hit very hard with severe ice. Paducah got pounded. The girls had to head due south via highways, they could not go southeast to I-24.

If you looked at the radar Wed morning, it looked like we were 45 minutes away from getting much of the same. A miniscule lessening of gulf air pressure, and the line would have dropped south by 50-100 miles.

Caution exercised but not utilized always looks un-necessary in hindsight, but caution not exercised that was needed looks stupid in hindsight.

You did the right thing. Schools systems took a hit from parents on Wed for cancelling, but those same parents would be screaming or suing if their kids were stranded in an ice storm.

JMG said...

You are right about caution. I just hate that the same thing may happen on Monday.

Being the one responsible to cancel class is not nearly as fun as being the student who gets to stay home! I hope if it does snow on Monday, it's bad enough for our university president to close us down. But that's wishful thinking, I'm sure. We'd have to have several boxes of suspicious paper towels before the entire campus would shut down.