Friday, July 20, 2007

Where did the rain go?

Yesterday, we were all gearing up for an "active" weather day in the weather center. These are my favorite days at work because there is so much to do. Our futurecast model was showing very high chances for storms in the afternoon in the Denver Metro area. By noon, the National Weather Service even put out a Flash Flood Watch for most of central Colorado. No matter which model you looked at, the conditions looked as though they were setting up a soaker of a storm. The newsroom called us to ask if they should send a camera crew out later to catch some footage of the rain.

So we waited, and waited, and waited for it to rain in Denver, and it never did. After all those warnings about heavy rain and flooding - nothing. I personally felt bad because many people had called into the station wondering about the rain. Many were concerned about flooding in their area and asked how much it was going to rain. I told them exactly what we all thought was going to happen - "good chance for rain, with the possibility of heavy rain at times".

I felt bad for telling those people something that didn't end up actually happening. I'm not used to people asking me what the forecast will be and I felt like I let them down. But I think it's good for me to get used to being wrong once in awhile. Weather forecasting has improved tremendously over the years, but it will never be perfect. Rather than focus on the negative, I think it's good to focus on the fact that we get so many forecasts right. Every so often, you're going to get those forecasts that just bomb. To survive as a meteorologist, you have to learn how to brush it off and know that you will do better next time.

No comments: