Limits of Weather Models
All weather, like politics, is local. What will happen in my yard, my neighborhood, my hometown? With major media 7-Day Outlooks are tailored for large metropolitan areas, where most people live. It’s not fair, but this is our reality.
Weather apps can help to localize current and predicted weather, but they only go so far. Meteorologists try to capture future variations across the entire state, but weather models, no matter how high-resolution, will never capture tiny wobbles in weather from town to town. It’s worth repeating: weather models are pretty good going out 2-4 days. They are slowly improving over time, but they aren’t perfect, and never will be.
No More Snow Days After Covid-19? These Schools Used Online Learning to Cancel Them. USA TODAY has the post; here’s an excerpt: “…Since students could work online, snow days at Bancroft-Rosalie were already a thing of the past when the pandemic struck. Other districts, including New York City schools, have canceled snow days or are looking into doing away with them because of the prevalence of online schooling. New York leaders said abolishing snow days will help the district fit in as many instructional days as possible. “When we first started doing it, people weren’t interested in having remote learning during snow days. They thought that was a day kids should have off. People are going to rethink how you can use remote learning now in schools,” Cerny said...”
Graphic credit: Minnesota DNR and State Climate Office.
U.S. Hit by 16 Billion-Dollar Disasters This Year, So Far. NOAA has an update on another crazy year of weather extremes: “…From January through the end of September of this year, the U.S. has experienced 16 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each. Eleven were due to severe storms—which occurred across more than 30 states—and the remaining 5 comprised one wildfire, one drought and three tropical cyclones. With 16 disasters so far, 2020 has already tied with 2011 and 2017 for the largest number of disasters in a calendar year. This is also a record sixth-consecutive year where 10 or more billion-dollar disasters have struck the U.S...”
The U.S. Could See the Fewest Recorded Deaths from Lightning Strikes This Year. One silver lining in during a volatile year of weather extremes. CNN.com reports: “In a year of increasingly bleak headlines, here’s one uplifting piece of news: The US is on track to experience the fewest recorded deaths from lightning strikes in a single year. Fourteen people have died from lightning strikes in the US so far this year. And because peak lightning season in the Northern Hemisphere takes place during June, July and August, the worst is likely behind us. Even if a few more deaths are reported in the next three months, the overall toll will still be below what we usually see, says John Jensenius, a meteorologist and lightning safety specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council…” File image: NASA.