So much for the weather forecasts

Rain is predicted around these parts off and on but the predictions, like the chances of rain, seem to fade away into the night…and day.

According to the forecast of the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg Monday, Floyd County and surrounding areas had a 49 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms on Tuesday.

That was Monday.  Today (Tuesday), the forecast calls for less than 10 percent and the hourly percentage is zero percent during the morning hours and about five percent for the evening.

Then 10 percent on Wednesday and Thursday, 20 percent on Friday and a chance of “scattered thunderstorms” on Saturday.  Then back to 20 percent or less for most of next week.

Kind of like the dire forecasts of of approaching tropical storm Cindy last week, which prompted cancellations of last week’s Relay for Life and a concert at Oak Grove pavilion over the weekend while the skies were sunny with no actual rainfall.

Scientists who make a living examining weather patterns say figuring out what is going on up in the atmosphere is a complicated task.  Wind patterns shift, highs and lows move around unpredictably and computer models aren’t always what they are cracked up to be.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belechick once said this about the weather:

If I did my job the way they do theirs, I’d be here about a week. Based on the forecasts we’ve gotten so far this year, none of them have been close to what game conditions were. There was 100 percent chance of rain last week, and the only water I saw was on the Gatorade table. . . . They’re almost always wrong.

Meatorogist Becky Elliott also writes a weather blog notes that a weather forecast is based on situations they see at a particular moment in time along with data on how things have acted in similar times in the past:

The key words there are “at the time.” What we always try to stress is that things change in the field of weather prediction. The weather doesn’t always behave in expected ways. Even with all of the data and knowledge we have at our fingertips, Mother Nature always gets the final word. The atmosphere is still an untamed beast, and meteorologists do the best job they can — just not a perfect one yet.

That’s her story and she is sticking to it.

At least until the next forecast.

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