Why is it so hard to forecast the weather around here?


On the very rare occasion a forecast doesn't go according to plan, we'll receive an isolated e-mail or two questioning just how come we got the forecast was wrong, and that their uncle in Cleveland can do a better job with his trick knee forecasting the weather here than we can.

One of the main problems in the Pacific Northwest is that it never does the same thing at the same time for all the viewers in our area.

This region has a nearby ocean, an inland Sea, two mountain ranges, a rain forest and a desert, all within about 200 miles of each other.

Rainfall varies from 18 inches in Sequim to 100+ inches just a few miles away near Forks, and Seattle gets 38 inches.

That situation stands in stark contrast to areas in the middle of the country where it is flat for miles and weather systems move at more predictable rates.

Our other problem is that we don't have a lot of reporting stations out in the Pacific Ocean where out weather comes from, so the computer models fill the missing data points with an average between two known points.

If we have a small error in that averaged data, the error becomes magnified over time.

What that means is that our 3-minute forecast ends up being pretty general because there is no way we can cover every individual variation that can occur around here.

Now having said that, we also know that the only weather that matters to you is the weather that is falling on your head! So, we ask that you bear with us and understand that there are times where we're going to be off for some people, but on the other hand, somewhere we were right!
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