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A Commentary on Weather (Reports)

November 15, 2014

A Commentary on Weather (Reports)

Weather reports in SW Illinois are almost always wrong. They tell us that it is nearly impossible to forecast the weather here but for the most part, we get Kansas City weather a day later and then pass it along to Indianapolis the following day.

I would not be suspicious of weather reports except that when they are wrong, it is always because things are not as bad as originally forecast. Forecasts of inclimate cold weather are the worst as the very mention of the “s” word sends people into frenzy. I consider weather reports to be the impact point between hyperbole and conspiracy. Bad forecasts sell milk, sleds, snow shovels, diapers, ice melt and a cacophony of other products. It also cancels schools and churches. Not the actual weather, just the forecast. But most importantly, bad forecasts have people tuned into the local station where “Weather Alerts” break in early and often to tell you exactly what they told you six minutes ago but this time they include a cell phone picture that lay weather observer Sam Drucker sent in from his General Store in Hooterville. The picture is of Sam’s prize tomatoes from the summer and though they have no bearing on the current situation, he is might proud of them. And who wouldn’t be, they are beautiful!

When I hear a weather forecast that predicts snow (particularly when accompanied by a dreaded timeline) I employ a scientific formula. Take the forcecasted snow amount, divide by two and move to the next lower unit of measure. For example, if two feet of snow is forecasted for St. Louis: Divide by two (one foot) and move to the next lower unit of measure (one inch). There you have it! We are going to actually get one inch of snow. Try this formula this winter and see if I am right. Last year I was right during every single weather event (except the ones in which I was wrong, which was usually).

So there you go, a self proclaimed weather expert offering commentary on the weather. Next week I may offer commentary on something else about which I know nothing…perhaps photography.

-Rev. Shane L. Bishop

Shane Book SIgn

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