Sunday, December 20, 2009

Everyone Complains About the Weatherman but Nobody Ever Does Anything About Him

Has it really been nearly a month since I've posted something here? Yikes. It's not like there hasn't been anything to talk about. The health care fiasco continues, Tiger Woods gets more attention than anything like that deserves, Joe Lieberman bravely soldiers on in his attempt to become the biggest asshole of this young century. (And trust me, that's a mighty high bar set by The Idiot and The Dark Lord.)

So what am I concerned with today? The weather. Well, not really the weather, but with weatherpeople. This includes both actual meteorologists and the smiling knuckleheads who point at maps on the teevee because they're better looking than the actual meteorologists.

I'm not going to go into a rant about how they're always wrong and they ruined my day. I'm going to go into a rant about the people who always go into rants about how they're always wrong and ruined their day. These people have problems. And the weatherpeople are the least of it.

Listen, people. Predicting the weather is not simple. There are a ton of variables involved and almost all of them are subject to change on a moment's notice. Given the broad range of things that could change between the time you get your forecast and the time you leave your man-cave for your place of employment or enjoyment it's pretty amazing that we get weather predictions as accurate as we do. It's like predicting what a cat is going to do. You may have a good sense of it and get it most of the time but it keeps surprising you.

And yet, this is the kind of thing I see and hear in my everyday life and on places like the Facebooks:

"The weather report called for about a foot of snow. We didn't even get an inch!"

"Being a weatherman must be the easiest job in the world."

"There will be weather today. Could be 80, could snow. Can I have my paycheck now?"

"People won't let me be wrong as often in my job as weathermen. "

"They're predicting [fill in the blank] but they're always wrong."

I'm guessing the penultimate person's job involves something like holding a scanner up to a barcode and then pressing the enter button. So no, dear person, if you were wrong as often as the weatherman you would not only be fired but you would be in the state hospital.

And there are plenty of other jobs where the failure rate is even higher and nobody seems to complain about them. And some of them involve predictions too. How often has Bill Kristol been right about anything? People still pay him to blather about things he obviously either doesn't understand or is being dishonest about. And all of those guys on ESPN who tell you who's going to win every game in the NFL this week? About 60% on target, if they're pretty good at it. But they're "experts" and the weatherpeople are complete idiots.

I would invite all of the people who complain about the weatherpeople "always" being wrong to do three things.

Thing 1: Mark on your calendar every day how close to accurate the weatherperson's forecast was. I'm guessing that for every day you screamed about them "always" being wrong, there were 9 or 10 days when it was pretty much on target. And when it wasn't quite on it didn't have any tangible effect on your life. "They said it was going to be 70 but it only got up to 65. Those bastards!"

Thing 2: Go try to predict the weather yourself. Really. I'm not kidding. Go try it. Tell me how you do. You wouldn't even know where to begin, I'm sure. I know, I know, you're not paid to do it. Trust me, you never will be.

Thing 3: If you really have no confidence in these people who are ignoramuses at best and hostile disseminators of bad information specifically designed to make you angry at worst, then please just stop reading/watching/listening to your local forecast. You already know it's always wrong. So why bother? Or is it more important to you to have something to complain about?

Predicting the weather is always always always an educated guess. Quit complaining about it and get a life. There are plenty of other things more worthy of your bile.

1 comment:

Mrs. Chili said...

It HAS been a month, and I've missed you. Please don't do that to me again...

I only pay attention to the 24 hour forecast, and for just the reasons you mention here; anything more than 24 hours out, and there are too many variables for an accurate forecast (the "10 day" on the weather channel site makes me laugh). Besides, what DIFFERENCE does it make what the weather is going to be like a week from now? You might not even be ALIVE then...