Well, that Blows

So yesterday, I called Pilatus Fight Services to get an outlook briefing, as I was gonna try to take Midwest Chick to see her sister in mid-Michigan…And their prediction matched the other aviation forecasts….as well as Weather Bug and the local TV prognosticators…

Forecast was for broken clouds in the 2000-4000 until 6 AM, then clear or nearly clear for the rest of the day.

So I planned a flight for Saturday morning about 8 AM.

Yeah, not so much. In the following 12 hours, the forecast for the area changed DRASTICALLY to overcast at 2000-3000.

The clear weather was off to the west about 60 miles. At best, MVFR conditions all day for me and points north and east….all day. The clear weather didn’t move as predicted. Folks in Mid-Illinois are experiencing the weather predicted for me. So I cancelled the (short) cross country flight. 

If we can’t predict the weather 12 hours out on a micro scale, how can we believe that anyone can predict what conditions will be on a macro scale a year from now? 5 years from now? 10-20-50-100 years from now?

Yes, I know, climate is not weather…except it is…..just on a smaller scale. Clouds are clouds. Fronts are fronts, Clouds and Fronts make weather, which makes climate. If your models are so poor that they can’t do a decent job 12 hours out, why should I trust anything you claim for periods a hundred or a thousand or more times distant? 

4 thoughts on “Well, that Blows

  1. Excellent point, that's why 'we' know them as 'weatherguessers'…

  2. Ha, a long cross country with a student was supposed to be clear and a million the entire out and back except for one small patch of fog in a small valley. Three hours after the briefing the entire route was fogged in for 100 miles either side of the route.

    I use this but I'm firmly entrenched in old school. The prog charts should tell you all you need to know.

    A tool you might be interested in is the Skew T diagram. Scott Dennison gives (or used to give) lessons on how to interpret the vast knowledge in the Skew T.


  3. Unknown:

    I use both of those as well as 1800WXbrief.

    But they all share the same data.

    Prog charts were off by just a bit on Friday evening for Saturday….

  4. Worse, the climate models predicting a dire future for us do not even work when predicting tne climate we already had. They don't work going backwards. If they put in the data for say 1925, the model fails to accurately "predict" the weather for next 100 years. that would be "proof" the model is good and accurate.

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