Adjusting the forecast day-to-day can be extremely stressful. You may not know this, but most meteorologists hate making changes, and hate being wrong. Yes we may even lose sleep over a forecast. After zero breakfast and 3 cups of coffee, I decided to write down my overview and philosophy of forecasting...
Science and technology may have brought us the iOS6 & iPhone 5, but it still can't trump our atmosphere. Although we look at computer forecast models and endless amounts of data (you could forecast non-stop until the event you're forecasting for passes you by), the final forecast is determined by us - humans.
Forecast models are great because they give us a foundation to build on. We can fill in the gaps and details by looking at recent observations, satellite or other data. The problem is the models rarely agree with each other. It's up to us to recognize commonalities and tendencies each model has during what type of climate patterns and what time of year – and even then it's no guarantee.
You've heard us say "We'll get a better idea of the forecast in the next few days". Most viewers don't appreciate this, and we get it. The problem is today's events could completely alter what happens tomorrow. We would rather get one day wrong and be able to tweak the forecast over the next 6 days versus having an entire 7 day forecast be a complete bust - exactly why getting your weather from TV is better than a web site or app. We can talk you through what's going on. We know the variables; so we’ll let you know what the other possible outcomes are.
The most fascinating part about nature, our atmosphere and our planet, is that it will always be unpredictable (which happens to also be the part our society hates about it). Sure, years of meteorological experience can make you the next Dr. Forbes or Tom Skilling and be able to recognize a pattern of something you witnessed 30 years ago - but in the grand scheme of things we're all human beings awaiting the mercy of whatever our weather decides to do. In the mean time, we will continue to put our heart and soul into what we love doing – studying weather patterns to let you know if you can wear shorts tomorrow.