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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sometimes Weather Graphics
Can be more Confusing than Not

Daily Newsletter's Featured Weekender for 1-12-2020:


This is one of those times where I find the graphic either incomplete, wrong, or simply just confusing. NOTE at the very top: "Rain starting in 15 minutes, so one logically begins to follow "Current Weather" which is right below it. Current Weather takes one down to the brief conditions which in this case is "Cloudy." If rain is scheduled for 15 minutes from now, would you not include that in the Current Weather? After all, it's more than Clouds, the Current Weather will very shortly be WET ("rain"). If one then looks at the Current Weather temperature which in this case is 46 and will be working toward a high of 49, how do we wind up with a snow flurry graphic between 46 degrees and 49 degrees? They say "A.M. flurries," but that conflicts with the temperatures; and let's face it, "A.M." is a long 12-hour period lasting from 12:00 am to 11:59:59 am. When in those 12 hours are we to expect the "flurries"?

At the very bottom it reads "Rain Saturday night" which logically takes you over to the time period they call "Tonight." But are they telling us that it is going to rain at 25 degrees? They also say that there will only be "Low Clouds ... Tonight" but that contradicts the previous "Rain Saturday night." And, by the way, what exactly do they mean by "Tonight"?  The hours of darkness (5 pm through 7 am)--a 14 hour period of time; or is "tonight" 5 pm to Midnight? Or is Tonight Midnight through 7 am? In other words, if it is going to Rain at 25 degrees, are we to expect ICE when it hits and pavement and freezes? If not, why not?

These things could all be easily solved by (1) adding the omitted word into the forecast area of the graphic; (2) give us their definition of terms such as what constitutes "Tonight" in their minds? My objection is that the confusion and inaccuracies unnecessarily created could be SO EASILY fixed that is a real shame why they fail to do it. I like the appearance of this graphic but may have to change in order to promote accuracy and the type of forecast far more easily told to a neighbor or friend. As it stands now, one friend says to another, "I read that today will be cloudy" while his or her friend says, that's odd, I read we are scheduled for "Rain" and yet they are both reading from the same graphic. Comeon, weather people, get on the side of truth and accuracy which always begins with the definition of our words!

I trust I have dealt with this issue appropriately and academically since I am not feeling in the least like a "grumpy old man." :-)

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