Okay, so here is how we call the weather in detail. We start with checking WeatherUnderground. We look at the ten day outlook that looks like this.
I'm writing this on Thursday afternoon and this is how the weather looked ahead of time. When it's this high of a probability of rain, it rarely changes all that much by Saturday morning. As you can see, the chance of rain is near 75% for Saturday at around 8 AM. This is where we start, but we never stop there. We next look at the National Weather Service report's Scientific Forecast Discussion. Here is a screen shot of what that report looks like as of this Thursday afternoon.
The paragraph we're looking for says something like this.
"A flip to onshore flow will bring cooler marine air inland
tonight, along with low level stratus clouds. Stratus clouds
should make it into the interior by sunrise. Temperatures will be
closer to normal with highs in the lower 60s. There's moisture
wrapping around an upper level low that will spread north into
western Washington Friday afternoon and evening for a chance of showers.
The upper level low will slowly drift inland this weekend for
additional showers and cooler conditions. Highs on Saturday and
Sunday are a few degrees below normal with temperatures mainly in
the mid 50s. Snow levels will lower to around 4500 feet in the
mountains. 33 "
The 33 I believe means the author or office. Sometimes these paragraphs are vague and other times they are definitive. They sometimes will say something like, "The models disagree." and we don't think they are talking about a few women working for Victoria Secrets. They are talking about types of scenarios and when we read that, we hold off as long as we can, sometime into the next report before we call it. Still, we don't stop here. We then go to NOAA and see what they have posted, even though they are one in the same, but post the latest in anticipation of a change at different times.
We also check on weather.com who rely on their own meteorologists and often they will have a slightly different report. One doesn't lean in one direction more than the other and they are all looking at each other's work we guess.
From here, we then look at what the TV networks are reporting. King 5 is reporting this.
Notice this is the report for Redmond and not Seattle? Believe it or not, the two have different rain patterns. In this case, Seattle shows a 20% lower chance of rain at the time I posted this example.
Here is what KOMO is reporting.
Notice they are both reporting the same thing? This isn't always the case. Sometimes we have to average from all the networks and compare it to the big services. In this case, they are all reporting about the same. Even then sometimes they ALL get it wrong. Remember the Ferrari day that it rained all morning? That was not in the forecast.
We still keep looking... even though in this case we're convinced it's going to rain.
As you can see, this weather forecast is different from the others at 60% so we then have to average what the stations are reporting.
So, what about what your phone is telling you? Well, that's because if you have an iPhone, it comes from one source, weather.com. If you have an Android, it comes from Weather Underground, who is, by the way, our most reliable source, but NOBODY gets it right every time. We take both of those into consideration at the top.
If each report is very different, we just average them to come up with a number, or if we see a trend either towards better weather, or worse, we will hold off six hours and wait for the next report. Sometimes when it's close, we call get on a call and discuss it as a group.
Yes, we put this much effort into getting it right, and we do it every week, but sometimes they all STILL get it wrong, but most of the time, they are mostly right. We not in the biz. We just know how much trouble some have to go through to be a part of E@RTC so we take the time to do our best on the subject.
We get calls from transporters who are bringing cars in trailers. That's not cheap! We think about them and the cost to attend E@RTC, or burning up our volunteer time, or all the folks that come up from Portland, down from Vancouver, over from Spokane and we even have a group from Montana that drive all night to get to E@RTC. Some of these cars need temporary road permits, some require special fuels, etc., so it's not as easy as just a few guys standing around in a lot.
We want to make it worth their trip over. We also have volunteers we don't want to burn out by tying them up on a rained-out Saturday. RTC has security people to assign too. Yes, we have security at E@RTC. We also have people with hotels, reservations with Gram-Gram, or to have that pesky wart removed and don't want to cancel their appointment. The point is, we're doing all we can to get it right. We hope this all helps you understand that there is more to it than just a wet finger.
We will see each other one of these days. This gives you more time to get even fatter than the last time we saw you.