Monday, March 25, 2013

Exact Science

To my son Tommy,

If you look at the calendar, we are in the spring season.  If you look out the door, winter is challenging this ruling with a blast of winter weather.  I was planning on heading in early to work today.  I had to be in around 6:00 AM or 6:30 AM to help an employee who is having trouble with timekeeping on the new iPad system.

When I woke up at 4:00 AM and saw a coating of snow on the grass, I turned on WJZ and started following the reports.  I was reassured that the snow wouldn't stick to the roadways and just lay on the grass.  It was around 5:00 AM that schools started announcing they were opening two hours late though the weatherman was still saying that the roads would remain clear.  I decided to reschedule my morning appointment due to the morning weather and sent out an email to say as much.  Soon on the news I started hearing reports of accidents on the road here and there and was pleased with my decision.  The weatherman now said that some roads would get slushy conditions.  The message came back from the office that they decided not to risk our company trucks on the road and just decided to close the office for the day.  Unfortunately this doesn't mean a day off of work to me as I have the blessing and the curse of being able to connect remotely.  It did give me an extra hour or so of sleep.  During this time I still had the news on the TV and could hear the weatherman back tracking and back tracking on the severity and the road conditions.

I know meteorology is not an exact science.  I know there are tons of variables that need to be taken into account and sometimes it might even be an art of deciphering these clues to make an accurate prediction.  I know that modern weatherman rely way too much on these supercomputer who take the variables and give out probabilities of scenarios and they just parrot back what the computer tells us.  But I do expect the news to be more accurate than a weather rock or weather stone.The weather stone is a highly accurate weather device that anyone can make and use.  A rock is hung from a tripod and placed on your lawn.  Then you look out your window and describe the condition of the rock.  Here are some typical instructions of how to determine the weather with the rock.

If the rock is wet, it's raining.
If the rock is swinging, the wind is blowing.
If the rock casts a shadow, the sun is shining.
If the rock does not cast a shadow and is not wet, the sky is cloudy.
If the rock is not visible, it is foggy.
If the rock is white, it is snowing.
If the rock is coated with ice, there is a frost.
If the ice is thick, it's a heavy frost.
If the rock is bouncing, there is an earthquake.
If the rock is under water, there is a flood.
If the rock is warm, it is sunny.
If the rock is missing, there was a tornado.
If the rock is wet and swinging violently, there is a hurricane.
I am looking out the window watching our street, which was supposedly too warm for accumulation, filling with snow.  We don't even have a weather stone and yet I am able to report the weather with as good or better accuracy than the news.  I lament that I didn't pick a profession where I could be wrong so blatantly and still keep my job.  A report of no street accumulation and nothing to worry about influences if people drive, or more importantly how they drive.  Now I am going to head out and shovel the walk and the street in what is undoubtedly going to be the biggest of the snows in our area.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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