Give the poor weatherperson a break

by Radio Somewhere

Seattle’s weather, i.e. the rain, was a bit fickle this weekend.

Yesterday, I was correct in choosing to wear a raincoat — but was incorrect in judging that I would be OK with a regular hat and shoes instead of the “Seattle sombrero” and boots. I had to take shelter from a biblical deluge with the coat-less and umbrella-less tourists huddled under an overhang at First and Pike. Pulling up a weather radar image loop on my phone revealed a fast-moving band of intense rain moving south across Seattle. This is not unusual in the early fall as the high-pressure cell over the Pacific is still strong enough to pump mild, moisture-laden air into the region, where it collides with much drier, cooler air from the north. Forecasting exactly where, when, and how hard it will rain is not easy with a system like this, as mesoscale processes are highly significant.

Another such system moved through for my trip home — and I stayed out of the rain through strategic bus-hopping, transferring only at locations with shelter.

I overheard someone complain that the forecast was for only a 60 percent chance of rain. Well, that’s good enough for a raincoat or umbrella, in my experience. And if I’d looked at the radar image before leaving home, I’d probably have worn the hat and boots.

Today, no rain was forecast and I went out without a jacket as it was mild and a bit sunny. I got caught by a few sprinkles on the way home — but no worries.

I once heard a coworker lament that anyone other than a weather forecaster who did such a lousy job with prediction would surely be fired. This was at a retail company — where the huge pile of unsold Halloween merchandise remaining on November 1 might have called into question the predictive capabilities of the purchasing department — but there you go. What the eye doesn’t see, the chef gets away with!

The trouble with weather is that God enjoys playing with it.

He also likes to mess with inventory too — something retailers haven’t figured out yet.