Talking It Over -- Amateur weather forecasters
It really bothers me when people who are not trained in weather predicting tend to let everyone know their predictions. I am not bothered by the general weather discussions like "it's a bit cold today" or "hope the rain will quit soon." But rather by the ones who pick up on the tiniest bits of bad forecasts and blow them out of proportion.
For example, it never fails that when I am planning an outdoor activity in the summer, someone will come up to me and say "I hear it is supposed to rain on that day." This is after I have watched the forecasts and heard them say there was a 20 percent chance of rain. To me that means there is an 80 percent chance that it will not rain and last I heard 80 was more than 20.
I even have some trouble with the professionals making long-range forecasts. Quite often, we will hear about possible severe storms a week in advance only to learn a few days later that it would miss us completely. Those earlier predictions simply gave us cause to worry needlessly.
Weather predicting is a nice thing to have as long as it is accurate and done by professionals. I don't need someone to tell me in October that we will be having the coldest and snowiest winter of the century. I also don't need an April prediction for a hot and dry summer. I would rather take it a day or week at a time and live with what I am given.
With that said, I hope this coming year brings us great weather. Not a lot of snow, just enough rain, plenty of sunshine and gentle breezes. Those are the predictions I enjoy hearing and what I try to gain from every forecast I hear.