My Point Of View
By Tim Philbin
Everyone at one time or another talks about the weather. Here’s my point of view
The recent blizzard that this region endured left more then a few people scratching their heads. In Vermont winter and snow go hand in hand. To us the white stuff means the green stuff. In an area that is heavily dependant on tourism and skiing snow equals money. But severe weather can also mean the loss of revenue for both the public and private sector. It all depends on your location.
Take New York City for instance. A major snow fall can not only paralyze transportation, shut down business and commerce, create a nightmarish scenario for road crews and potential career ending headaches for city officials but it also tests a weather forecasting system. If they get it wrong the financial consequence can run into the ten’s of millions of dollars not to mention the danger to the health and safety of the citizenry.
That is why the weather service and their friends in the media work hand in hand to warn you if danger is approaching. Better to be prepared. Maybe that is why TV stations have the obligatory news story of people raiding the local supermarket and clearing off the shelves.
But do they always get it right? Sure they use the latest satellite images, measuring devices and computer programs to develop models to forecast exactly what is going to occur. They have the best technology that money can buy. Yet they still can get it wrong.
During the recent “blizzard” New York City residents were warned that they could see as much as two feet of snow and winds of up to 45 mile per hour. A disaster of epic proportions was in the making. Schools closed, most all public transportation stopped, companies large and small dismissed employees , city workers sent home, public warned not to venture out of their homes and by all means stay off the highways. This one was going to be bad and VERY costly.
Then a strange thing happened or didn’t happen The storm which was hyped, promoted, and predicted to practically level the Big Apple decide to go against all the computer projections and models and go somewhere else, my driveway.
But how could this be? At the height of the massive storm Central Park in New York had a measly four inches of snow. Really !
Yet we are told that these same scientists using all of their collective knowledge and wisdom have developed computer models that can project that in a few years all life on this planet may be in danger of extinction due to mam made global warming, If they can’t tell us from one hour to the next what the weather will be how the heck can they tell us what the planet will be like ten or fifty years from now?
I understand that it is not an exact science maybe that is why it is called a forecast or prediction. But should we change our entire economic structure and way of life based on computer models that can’t even tell us what the weather was like yesterday?