I posted a comment on Facebook the other day when the snow was coming down so heavy it looked like we’d be buried in it up to our armpits till April. I said “well, this will likely solve my problem of trying to find somebody to trim my trees and rake the leaves until spring” to which my friend and Keloland chief meteorologist, Jay Trobec, replied, “sorry Doug the snow will end tonight and be all gone by the weekend.” Jay’s comment was followed by a few others Facebook friends who say Trobec is wrong half the time. Another said he gets into a panic over a 20 mile an hour wind….neither of which is true. In fact, as Jay predicted, the sun came out and the snow has melted..mostly.. and I’m back to searching the yellow pages for lawn care guys.
The truth is the science of weather forecasting..especially at Keloland Television.. is as accurate as it has been EVER. Here’s what Science Daily says about the profession in general:
Every day, weather forecasters are put to the test for accurate daily predictions. It’s a hard job that gets blamed for rained-out picnics, canceled barbecues and delayed planes; but today, our forecasts are more accurate than any other time in history.
We rely on our meteorologists to help plan our lives, but one wrong forecast and local meteorologists are the first to get blamed. Predicting the weather isn’t easy, but despite a few missed temperatures, weather forecasting has actually made huge improvements in the last 20 years. “Our forecasts, on average for large storms, were about 90 percent accurate,” Douglas Young, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C. said.
In 1996 when Young Broadcasting bought Keloland TV, the decision was made to make weather a top priority. Our on-air forecasters would have to have or get meteorologist degrees. (No more Doug Lund subbing on the noon show weather.) We would be building our own live Doppler radar stations and dedicate a third of our studio to weather monitors, computers and other high tech equipment. Remember all those Live Doppler 2000 commercials that ran night and day? Jay Trobec (who now has a Phd) was joined by Scot Mundt and Brian Karstens both meteorologists and skilled broadcasters. Together they make for the most experienced, highest skilled and best equipped weather guys in the business, scientists really, working in one of the most vol ital parts of the country for severe weather where getting the forecast right is not only crucial..it’s a matter of pride.
They’re also Keloland TV’s highest profile nerds.
Believe me when I tell you that’s a term of endearment. These guys are the first to admit that even though they all have families, weather pretty much rules their lives. When they’re not putting together their weather shows and reporting on air, they’re planning ahead for the next day..glued to their smart phone and I pad weather apps even on their days off.
So, yeah, I get a little miffed when so many seem to get distracted from what Jay is actually saying about the weather by the enthusiastic manner in which he says it.
I’m not knocking the other meteorologists in town, Phil is a pal and excellent. But the numbers show that in times of severe weather, folks switch over to our guys..whether Jay annoys them or not. Oh, and nobody, especially Trobec, asked me to write this.
I know some of you are still convinced that weather forecasting is still a craps shoot so let’s try a little experiment. Let me invite you to keep a month long diary for where you live. Keep track of Jay’s six or ten o’clock forecasts. Write down the predicted highs and lows along with projections of clear, partly cloudy or cloudy skies and precipitation. Allow five degrees either way on temps. (Or you can just follow along in the weather archives here on Keloland.com)
Now be fair about it and remember that nobody’s perfect.
Allow me to brag for a moment here on Ashlee Lund. She’s the daughter of my cousin, Mike and his wife Pat. Ashlee got the mountain climbing bug while touring Europe with a group of young people when she was 17. Since then, Ashlee has climbed every major peak in the Rockies. Then about a year and a half ago she heard about an opportunity to tackle Mount Everest. Okay, not scale the mountain itself but climb all the way to base camp..the next best thing to attempting a summit. Ashlee has been training like mad ever since and last month it was off to Nepal and the Himalayas. She was in e-contact along the way and reports that she nearly gave up more than once but pressed on finally arriving at over 18 thousand feet..exhausted but smiling. I wish I had a tenth of her energy and desire.