Something struck me the other day while watching the local tv weather radar channel; at some unidentified/unnamed part of my life I began to actually put some credence - dare I even say trust - into the NWS's (and consequently the local weather man's) forecasts! This was unthinkable just a few decades ago. Jokes abounded about "what job can one be wrong half the time and still stay employed? - being a weatherman!" Seems like back in the late 60's and early 70's the weatherman was wrong almost half the time - I'm sure they got the next day's forecast right the majority of the time, but my impression is that accuracy fell off sharply beyond that. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed this?
There have, of course, been several important advances like sophisticated radars, satellites, and computer modelling (not to mention the years of experience necessary to learn to use some of these tools to their best advantage) that aid greatly in the process, but I'd be hard pressed to pick a year where the balance suddenly tipped and and meteorologists' opinions worth more than Grandpa's trick knee or Aunt Charlene's corns.
With all the geography/earth science types we've got floating around here I bet we take a more informed look at the art (no no Maister it's a science dammit!) of meteorology than most. Do you place much stock in your local tv weatherperson's predictions for tomorrow? How about the weekend forecast? What about the 10 day outlook? Are you one of those folks that gets drawn to the weather news at the slightest whiff of dark skies or drop in atmospheric pressure come tornado or hurricane season?