the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

Snow Report 2021

One thing I remember from Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise was that weather forecasters are systematically pessimistic. They overstate the chance of bad weather. The reason for this is commercial - they've learned that most people are a lot less unhappy being told it'll rain and then finding out that it won't, than being told it won't rain and then having their picnic ruined.

My boys and I, however, are not most people.

The end of 2020 was mild, as it usually is, and then leading into January the weather forecasts were continuous, overstated pessimism. The forecasts kept saying there'd be sleet and snow "ahead" - a week ahead, a few days ahead, tomorrow. And then as tomorrow got closer, the forecast would change, and the sleet and snow would still be due but a few hours later, or the next "tomorrow."

One night the forecast was still predicting snow for the next morning. I should've known better, but I said to the kids "hey, the forecast says it's going to snow tomorrow morning." And of course it didn't, and the kids woke up to no snow, and the breakfast table was not a happy place that morning.

And then, a week or so later, it happened. Again, heavy snow forecast for the next day and the forecast wasn't changing. I said to the kids "look, don't get your hopes up, because we know the weather forecasters are LIARS who LIE all the time, and I've broken your hearts once this winter already, but there's snow forecast for the morning." And lo, we woke up that Sunday morning, and it started to snow, and it snowed pretty heavily for a couple of hours, and the kids went out and had a blast, and then it stopped, and by the late afternoon, it had started to melt. But at least we'd seen snow.

And that was just the start. A couple of weeks later, we had more. And more, and more. And in the end, we had snow on the ground for about a week, and even after that, while there wasn't enough to settle, snowflakes blowing past my window every couple of days become the new normal.

And what a wonderful normal it was. All in all, a pretty good snow result for 2021.


{2021.03.09 19:53}

« A phone call

» Lockdown Easing