Thursday, March 13, 2014

how likely, how, soon, how severe?

i'm looking at today's winter storm warning:

Posted 3 hours, 32 minutes ago – National Weather Service
  • How likely:
  • How soon:
  • How severe:
The original text for this alert has been automatically reformatted to correct capitalization.
Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 8 pm EDT Thursday.
The National Weather Service in Burlington continues the Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow, until 8 pm EDT Thursday.
  • Locations: The Northern Adirondack Mountains, Champlain Valley, as well as central and northern Vermont, including the Northeast Kingdom.
  • Hazard types: Heavy snow.
  • Accumulations: 12 to 20 inches of snow, with locally higher amounts.
  • Maximum snowfall rate, 1 to 2 inches per hour, mainly this evening and tonight.
  • Timing: light snow falling across the area will increase in intensity Wednesday afternoon and continue into Thursday morning. Snow will taper off to snow showers on Thursday. The snow will likely mix with sleet across parts of Rutland and Windsor Counties Wednesday evening.
  • Impacts: difficult travel expected with heavy snow and areas of blowing and drifting snow. Near blizzard conditions with visibilities below one quarter of a mile and brief wind gusts up to 35 mph will exist at times.
  • Winds: north 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
  • Temperatures: highs around 30 today, with temperatures falling into the single digits tonight. These temperatures combined with strong winds will create wind chills of 0 to -20 tonight and Thursday morning.
  • Visibilities: below one quarter mile at times in snow and blowing snow, especially from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning.

i have been noticing this about storm warnings: how likely? the four dots stand for unlikely, possible, likely, and observed.

likely? really? we are in the middle of it and you guys can't commit to "observed"? just "likely"?

and on the soon-ness scale: past, future, expected, immediate.

expected? the thing's been been going for seven hours and is going to go for another 29 hours, so i think we've passed "expected" and gotten right onto "it's happening right figging NOW".

i GET that you might want to hedge your bets a little and call two feet of snow "moderate" severity, but there's really no doubt about WHEN it's going to happen. it has been happening for hours. it's going to be happening for more than a day yet. it's happening NOW.

that's pretty soon.

1 comment:

cookie said...

This is very funny to me. I have long believed that just before delivering the on-air tv weather report, the meteorologist dashes outside, looks around, then comes in and gives a report. Actually, that's probably the only way to give an accurate weather report in Oklahoma...Vermont meteorologists, take note.


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