Quote of the Week – blaming Nature for poor model performance

qotw_cropped

There’s not much I can say about this quote from the Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach as it stands on its own quite well.

The context of this quote is article on the bust of a forecast that was to be “snowquester”. You can cut the disappointment in the air with a steak knife. Achenbach muses:

Still, I blame the storm more than I blame the computer models. The models are pretty good. It’s Nature that messed this up.

I hope he escapes from his alternate reality soon, people must be looking for him.

Full story here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/achenblog/wp/2013/03/07/forecasts-and-probabilities/

h/t to Willis E.

UPDATE: Some people think he was being sarcastic or humorous. For example, from this part:

“I thought the forecast for Snowquester was pretty good, as total busts and epic fiascos go.” is clear as day, but I’ll translate for you:  The forecasters gave it a good shot, but it wasn’t good enough.  It was a total bust.

But there is also this:

The models in this case predicted serious snow in the I-95 corridor, but the storm “underperformed,” and didn’t drop snow intensely enough and consistently enough to cool down the warm layer of the atmosphere and the warm ground in the urban areas.

The storm “underperformed”.

I read the entire essay, but I didn’t get the sense that he was joking. I considered the possibility he might be before I wrote this post. The clincher for me was this update:

Update 2: I’m told via Twitter that my chaos line is incorrect. Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) writes: “Chaos in weather systems is technically deterministic – it happens even without introducing random elements.”

If this was a humor piece, somehow I don’t think he’s be worrying about details like that.

YMMV – Anthony

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97 thoughts on “Quote of the Week – blaming Nature for poor model performance

  1. Thanks Anthony: And the opening paragraph is a nice lead-in too!:
    ++++++
    “Call me crazy, but I thought the forecast for Snowquester was pretty good, as total busts and epic fiascos go. The models in this case predicted serious snow in the I-95 corridor, but the storm “underperformed,” and didn’t drop snow intensely enough and consistently enough…”

  2. 1. Quid pro quote:
    “People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful.” – John Mitchell, Chief Scientist UK Met Office & IPCC
    Perhaps Achenbach should write IPCC reports, and replace some of the current crew. He’s of the same mindset, but is more fun to read.
    2. Methinks Achenbach was being ironic, but I don’t read him enough to know his style.
    3. Storm names of late have become too cute by two. I’ll stick to names like “Blizzard of 88″, “Big Snow”, and “Palm Sunday Tornadoes”.

  3. I have spent a lot of this winter watching snow fall and lie on the ground. I’d better book an appointment at the opticians!!

  4. Apparently they have realized that mother nature is a denier of global warming and are turning on her.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  5. “Call me crazy, but I thought the forecast for Snowquester was pretty good, as total busts and epic fiascos go.”

    OK. You’re crazy! :-)

  6. “Still, I blame the storm more than I blame the computer models. The models are pretty good. It’s Nature that messed this up.”
    “Call me crazy,”

    Yup we agree with your own sentiment. And I would guess that even the CAGW folk would as well. Time for the men in the white coats to make a house call I think

  7. “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men … gang aft agley” };-)

    Just another example of, the “Arctic ocean will be ice free by summer 2010″.

    Nicht sogar falsch. XD

    And the dead populate the earth … already.

  8. Achenbach (who is generally level-headed) was probably joking. To be fair, predicting snowfall in the DC area is a dodgy proposition. The heaviest precipitation often is pushed east over Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula.

  9. Darn, why did I have to follow that link..

    Alvin Lee is dead :-(

    Still love his guitar work !!

  10. BBC: 5% more ice in the Antarctic then previously thought; however that makes the world more vulnerable if all of it is to melt due to the climate change.

  11. Well, they tweak the historical data (nature) to make the models look better, it’s not to difficult to see how he can come to such an outlandish conclusion.

  12. Imagine me as an economist saying something like this. “The economic models were correct, but the people didn’t spend the way they were supposed to spend”. Yeah, that’d be pretty embarrassing.

  13. Mocking where mocking is due, good natured ribbing when mocking is not due. The weather models really are quite good, although their accuracy will always depend on the accuracy of the measured starting conditions. Over the last week we’ve had two storms come through dropping significant snow (Calgary) and for each there was a very accurate forecast some days in advance. That’s impressive.

    Climate models, however, are essentially useless with a lower accuracy rate than mere chance would even allow for… obviously due to the fact that they are built on unfounded and fundamentally flawed premises.

  14. Interesting quote; I was thinking coming in on the tube this morning, having glimpsed a headline suggesting people continue to believe in “Climate Change”; “what if the models are correct and the climate is wrong”.
    “We are doomed if we do and doomed if we don’t”

  15. It gets better

    In an update to the original article, there is the following:

    ‘ Update 2: I’m told via Twitter that my chaos line is incorrect. Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) writes: “Chaos in weather systems is technically deterministic – it happens even without introducing random elements.” ‘

    Even the IPCC acknowledges ‘ … we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore … the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible’

  16. The gap between model predictions and what nature does is not insurmountable. The obvious solution is to use geoengineering to make nature behave in the way that it is supposed to.

  17. “The models are pretty good. It’s Nature that messed this up.”
    Ha Ha…Ha Ha Ha….HAHAHAHA…

  18. you should try reading the ‘article’ of the ‘Science Editor’ of the ‘Independent’, Steve Connor today Then take a look at the comments.

    We have a new ‘study’, which is measuring ‘proxies’ for temperature, which PROVES (er, well does it?) that there has been incredible warming the past 100 years compared to relative stability the previous 10,000 years.

    All the blog entries are basically taking the absent ‘deniers’ to task about how ‘everything is all proven’, ‘feeding carbon dioxide to the planet is like giving a drunk vodka’ and the like.

    I do wish some of these bloggers were required to be cross-examined in a court of law where the concept of perjury was introduced to them upfront.

    Nothing like some sanctions placed in front of zealots to make them examine evidence constructively.

    The first principle of evidence is that a newspaper article isn’t ‘evidence’, it’s an expression of someone’s opinion of someone’s else’s interpretation of some ‘data’.

  19. One day we will invent a computer so powerful that people will be able to download the contents of their entire brain into it and their simulated selves will live in a fabricated universe that will last forever. When that happy day comes, Achenbach, your models will be matched precisely by every storm. But please, Achenbach, for the sake of those of us that live in the real universe contending with real weather, keep your stupid comments to yourself.

  20. What is John Mitchel’s PhD in the Grimm Brothers? (I assume he has a PhD and not pulled in off the streets to fill a vacancy).

  21. Those who are hooked on extreme weather for their kicks have to go cold turkey when their dealer, Gaia, doesn’t come up with the goods.

  22. I live just northeast of Richmond, and our local weatherguessers did tolerably well. They did quote Dave Tolleris of Chesterfield, and he is often more accurate than the National Weather Service or the Weather Channel. Snow totals are notoriously difficult to predict here because we are so often on the freeze line. Original forecasts a week ago had a large precipitation event, which then was expected to be mostly rain. As Wednesday approached, snow appeared in the forecasts, with the area east of I-95 (where I live) given a likelihood of 2 or 3 inches of heavy wet snow between two large blasts of rain. That’s pretty much what we got–about 1.5″ of heavy rain followed by a turn to snow at 9:20 a.m. (which had been predicted for as late as 2 or 3 p.m.). The snow came down heavily for over five hours and lasted just over six hours in all before dwindling to isolated flakes and drops of rain. Our snow was what would have been 5 or 6 inches without all the previous rain, but it landed on puddles or wet ground, and it took a while to start showing. Our eventual snow depth was 2 or 3 inches. By yesterday morning there was ice on the sidewalks, but the roadways were clear. The snow was utterly beautiful when falling, but I was grateful for a light impact. While a quarter-million people were without power in the mountains, 100 miles west of here, we did not lose power. It was cold, windy, and spectacular during the storm, just as the local weatherfellas had said. Most satisfactory. But the constantly-changing forecasts were a strong demonstration of the difficulties of predicting something as chaotic and complex as weather.

  23. Reading these quotes I am reminded once again of how Richard Feynman explained this in his unique way

    “Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.”- Richard Feynman

    How ironic that John Mitchell, title is –‘Chief Scientist UK Met Office’, what a joke, truly unbelievable.

  24. ” Michel says:
    March 7, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    as a general rule: never be ironic in the media, you’ll be misunderstood and misquoted”

    And its derivative corollary: “As a general rule, never be in the media, you’ll misunderstand and misquote…”

  25. It is interesting to note that all these model predictions are based upon a significant amount of bollocks, buggery, & bullshit, until one invokes the Precautionary Principle, whereupon all things & everything, becomes possible!!!!

  26. Here in Northern Ontario, they usually call for much more snow than we actually receive. It is the rare times that their estimates are realized. The ranges they give are exceeded only a couple times a winter. This is normal for us. — John M Reynolds

  27. Having read the source, I’d say this was meant to be humorous, and lets be fair there’s little enough of that in the climate science community

  28. What’s a [i]Snowquester[/i]? After 6 pages of google looking for a dictionary meaning, I gave up.

  29. I live in NW Richmond. Although the forecasts varied, we ended up with about the snow predicted, with a heck of a lot of rain. If Mr. Achenbach was disappointed he should have spent Wednesday morning with me. The semiannual stack opacity reading certification was done by a contractor. It took a couple hours. Just standing around in 3-4″ of wet slush, periods of heavy snow, wind gusts approaching 40 and 32-34°F. Some air permits require an on site person certified to visually determine stack opacity. He could have joined the group of us fools and he would have gotten all the snowquester he wanted.

  30. I think he was being sarcastic/ironic but considering the readership of the Washington Post, they will no doubt take his words literally.

  31. Achenbach, like any good scientist, should have added a Snowqualifier to his Snowquester comment. But he didn’t and he isn’t.

    (A “/sarc” tag would have been appropriate and appreciated.)

    And John Mitchell?

    “Chief Scientist UK Met Office” /sarc.

  32. AndyG55 on March 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    “Darn, why did I have to follow that link..

    Alvin Lee is dead :-(

    Still love his guitar work !!”

    damn, hadn’t heard that. “fastest guitarist ever”.

  33. Nonsense here — weather forecasting is and has always been like this — and has always occasionally called it right — only to be wrong.

    This says nothing about forecasting (other than what we already know about weather forecasting — that the weather doesn’t always cooperate), says nothing about models, says nothing at all, except maybe about the tendency of the press to hype things into scary disasters to attract an audience.

    Give the weatherman a break! Like an umpire — he calls it like he sees it.

  34. I would like to know the context of the quote from John Mitchel. On the face of above, he is a witch doctor not a scientist.

  35. We are having particular problems with the type of model, which is rare. It was the wrong kind of snow.
    That’s right, it was the wrong kind of snow.

  36. I’m pretty sure he was poking fun at the forecasters. His Wiki page says he is “… known for his versatility and deft humor.”

    He belongs to a group known as NCAS – National Capital Area Skeptics. Their web page states: “NCAS was founded in 1987 in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. We are advocates for science and reason, actively promoting the scientific method, rational inquiry, and education.”

    Certainly not every group making such claims actively practice what they preach. But on the face of it Joel Achenbach may be more of an ally, and who knows, maybe he’s a regular reader of WUWT.

  37. Richard Keen says: March 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    3. Storm names of late have become too cute by two. I’ll stick to names like “Blizzard of 88″, “Big Snow”, and “Palm Sunday Tornadoes”.

    “2013 Snow Job”

  38. Oh well, I guess I should have looked below the surface before giving Joel the benefit of the doubt. Forget what I said about him possibly being a open to contemplating an alternative to the “consensus”.

    In August last year he blogged:

    …”It’s not climate change that worries me. It’s climate change denialism, and all other forms of anti-scientific thinking, and solution-deferring, and the covering of the eyes in hopes that it will create invisibility.”…

    Sorry, I don’t know how to link the blog entry, but it pretty much the same language used by journalists with BA degrees in politics that end up writing about science.

  39. I am at a loss here, I cannot believe someone said that. Must have an IQ of 100 or less.

  40. It’s Ok, all this snow is but a side-show (or should that be a side-snow?) to the main warming event … the BBC are reporting:
    “The glaciers of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago will undergo a dramatic retreat this century if warming projections hold true.
    A new study suggests the region’s ice fields could lose perhaps as much as a fifth of their volume.
    Such a melt would add 3.5cm to the height of the world’s oceans. Only the ice of Greenland and Antarctica is expected to contribute more.”
    (If you can see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21699115 )

    So we are still doomed!

  41. Sad-But-True-Its-You says:
    March 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Nicht sogar falsch. XD

    …which should be “nicht einmal falsch”. Don’t trust translatorbots to sort ambiguity correctly.
    Sorry: just trying to maintain the Kraut reputation for such things. ;-)

  42. The stupidity of these people still shocks me. After reading much on science in my life I find it remarkable that so many scientists throw out the scientific method, a method that they hold in such high regard, is thrown out the window when belief takes over. It is so scary coming from people who have such influence on society & people like me are accused of being stupid or having an agenda when quoting evidence, actual evidence that they have themsevles measured.

  43. >> Ryan says:
    >> March 8, 2013 at 2:14 am
    >> One day we will invent a computer so powerful that people will be able to download the
    >> contents of their entire brain into it and their simulated selves will live in a fabricated universe
    >> that will last forever

    Read Arthur C. Clarke’s “The City and the Stars”

    JohnB

  44. GS writes: “Chaos in weather systems is technically deterministic – it happens even without introducing random elements.”

    First, isn’t climate, not just weather, proababilistic rather than deterministic? Which is why forecasts and Scenarios have % points? And chaos, does it not have undeterminable outcomes based on unexpected interactions of known and unknown factors, which in laymen’s terms would be “random elements”?

    Twitter, at 144 “elements”, is limited in its ability to expess complex thoughts. But the above one of GS sounds like intellectual bafflegab, a term I could probably explain in a tweet, but won’t.

    I am suspicious that within the body of climate models there is a deterministic backbone. Determinism requires you to know all relevant parameters but allows you solid predictions. It is this hidden backbone that drives the modellers to insist they can perform better than observation, and claim that the world is screwing with them, not the other way around.

    What system other than determinism allows you to predict the long-term from a study of the short-term? Is this the basis of climate model failure, a basis of determinism in a probabistic and chaotic world even on the 100 year level?

  45. “Update 2: I’m told via Twitter that my chaos line is incorrect. Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) writes: “Chaos in weather systems is technically deterministic – it happens even without introducing random elements.””

    This is an indication that Gavin Schmidt actually KNOWS that he is a charlatan.

  46. Re: 15 years of no global warming: I blame climate more than I blame the computer models. The models are pretty good. It’s climate that messed this up

  47. Still, I blame the storm more than I blame the computer models. The models are pretty good. It’s Nature that messed this up.

    Chuck L:

    I think he was being sarcastic/ironic but considering the readership of the Washington Post, they will no doubt take his words literally.

    Creative fusion: Still, I blame the readers more than I blame the Washington Post. The reporter is pretty good. It’s the readership that messed this up.

    Honestly, I can’t believe any reporter with an IQ over 50 would have seriously made such a comment–it has to be us.

  48. William McClenney says:
    March 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm
    Yeah, well, that’s late end extreme interglacial climate for ya……..
    —————————–
    Yeah, it is.
    cn

  49. The best thing about earth’s climate is that it can’t, won’t and doesn’t listen to the modelers–not in the least.

    The Warmistas need to occupy a row of chairs placed next to the ocean at low tide to test their ability to “command and control”, and they must remain there until their noses disappear.

    It would only be fitting.

  50. I think guys like Schmidt just throw technical words around because it makes him seem smart to his target audience. The “chaos, deterministic and random elements” statement is shear lunacy.

  51. Paul Coppin says:
    March 8, 2013 at 3:32 am
    ” Michel says:
    March 7, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    as a general rule: never be ironic in the media, you’ll be misunderstood and misquoted”

    And its derivative corollary: “As a general rule, never be in the media, you’ll misunderstand and misquote…”
    ———–
    still laughing!
    cn

  52. Computer models telling Mother Nature how to perform? Guess who will win this battle? At least I know I’m in good company as a “denier”. Having Mother Nature as a fellow denier makes me feel better. When I am next accused of being a “D” I will state that I am in an exclusive group. Thanks Eugene.

  53. Achenbach’s writing is in the style of satirical humor. By the bookful, for decades.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_satirists_and_satires

    He’s laughing at the weather forecasters.

    REPLY: That may well be, but for people who have never read him (including me) how would you know. That’s why WUWT has a satire and humor category that we tag posts with, to make sure the reader knows. I think the onus is on the writer, not the reader, to communicate the intent. – Anthony

  54. One more from civil engineering. “The bridge modeling designs were pretty good, it is gravity that overperformed and caused the bridge to collapse.”
    I bet you are all happy that there is not an IPCC for civil engineering to use their modeling to design our buldings, bridges, streets, etc.

  55. I am pretty sure . . . ? . . . . that is why weather forcasting people are short term extrapolators . . . and if they have a good record . . . “masterextrapolators”! At least, that is my hypothosis.

  56. If it was my job to define the term “anti-science” it would feature strongly the concept that inconvenient empirical data is be discarded when it conflicts with preconcieved ideas.
    I would have to elaborate to distinguish this from both “theology” and “delusion” – or maybe not.

  57. @Scott:

    ‘snowjob’ Just after I had stopped laughing at the article and some of the comments , You DID have to put that in now I’m hurting!

  58. “Chaos in weather systems is technically deterministic – it happens even without introducing random elements.”

    This is a demonstration of really mixing things up. There are two ways of calculating some outcome with multiple predictors – deterministic and probabilistic/stochastic/random. These refer to different ways to model actual phenomena – Nature herself does not have some features that are deterministic and some that are chaotic/random.

    I am not the best at explaining the stochastic/deterministic difference – maybe [some] one else here can show how this quote truly looks like someone trying to impress with big words.

  59. The Storm did not “underperform”. It performed as promised – just farther south. They missed the track, nothing more. We got 2.5 inches of melted precipitation 90 miles south of DC, but since it was too warm to be all snow, we only got a few inches of the frozen stuff, and a lot of the regular wet stuff.

    The models blew the track. Why? Because it was not a standard track (the models are based upon past performance and statistical probabilities mostly). Maybe the next time a storm behaves this way, it will be factored into the models and they will be more accurate – they gain accuracy with experience.

    But the storm did what it was predicted to do, just not in the place it was predicted to do it in.

  60. Boy, if you have that much faith in the models, you don’ know much about forecasting. Ask anyone who forecasts & watches the models. If you don’t put the human touch of interpretation to your forecasts (considering all the data, not just the models), you are doomed to fail.

    …. and of course the same is true for longer term / climate models.

    Speaking of forecasts, looks like we will be having a good snow storm here in the Colorado front range tomorrow. MY forecast is for 5-10″ in Denver, 8-14″ west suburbs & 15-25″ in the foothills. Time to go play in the snow!

  61. Since there seems to be differing opinions on whether the author was serious or not, someone ought to contact him – I am guessing his email is available via the WaPo. Maybe he would respond for our benefit?

  62. 7:20 here, Saturday morning. A late start, a cup of coffee, I fire up the machine and plug into WUWT and scroll down to where I left off yesterday – and this is what I see first up. I laughed so hard I scared the cat. Wonderful start to the day, thank you, Anthony. That quote is going on my wall. :)

  63. FerdinandAkin says:
    March 8, 2013 at 5:14 am

    “That’s right, it was the wrong kind of snow.”

    LOL. It was “rotten” snow.

    But, seriously folks, Achenbach is sort of a cross between Dave Barry and a serious news columnist. He is known for his dry wit and sense of humor. But, I sense here perhaps a slight homage to Douglas Adams.

  64. Robert Hooke had a few things to say about the shortcomings of our attempts to model nature through thoughts or arts:

    The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a work of the Brain and the Fancy: It is now high time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of Observations on material and obvious things.
    ******************************************************
    There are but few Artificial things that are worth observing with a
    Microscope, and therefore I shall speak but briefly concerning them. For
    the Productions of art are such rude mis-shapen things, that when view’d
    with a Microscope, is little else observable, but their deformity…

    …whereas in natural forms there are some so small,
    and so curious, and their design’d business so far remov’d beyond the reach
    of our sight, that the more we magnify the object, the more excellencies
    and mysteries do appear; And the more we discover the imperfections of our
    senses; and the Omnipotency and Infinite perfections of the great Creatour.

    –Robert Hooke, Micrographia (1665)

  65. thelastdemocrat says:
    March 8, 2013 at 11:18 am

    ““Chaos in weather systems is technically deterministic – it happens even without introducing random elements.”

    This is a demonstration of really mixing things up. There are two ways of calculating some outcome with multiple predictors – deterministic and probabilistic/stochastic/random. These refer to different ways to model actual phenomena – Nature herself does not have some features that are deterministic and some that are chaotic/random.

    I am not the best at explaining the stochastic/deterministic difference – maybe [some] one else here can show how this quote truly looks like someone trying to impress with big words.”

    No; Gavin Schmidt uses exactly the correct words.
    Chaos emerges through iterative amplification of low-order bits in the state of a system (if we express the state as a vector of digital words). Think of the famous wings of a butterfly metaphor. Basically any feedback loop with a gain higher than 1 will accomplish that over time. Of course, in nature at certain amplitudes “different things” happen; see for instance Willis Eschenbach’s Thunderstorm Thermostat hypothesis (where, given enough moisture, at a certain temperature threshold cumulunimbus clouds emerge and rapid convection changes the flow of heat in the system). So infinite amplification is not possible, but anyway, the amplification process is what leads to “wild swings” from initial unmeasurably small perturbations. Without any random influence.

    Obviously the resolution of the digital model plays a role here – Nature usually has a finer resolution than our digital models, and if you want information from lower state bits to be left-shifted over time into higher state bits you gotta have those lower state bits in the first place. What’s the Planck length; 10^-38 m ? So that gives you a rough idea of how fine you could represent spatial coordinates…

  66. Anthony, I cannot recall reading about Achenbach’s writings and I don’t know him from Adam and could not care less. But when I read:

    Still, I blame the storm more than I blame the computer models. The models are pretty good. It’s Nature that messed this up.

    I’m tempted to bold the two sentences, but I think the last sentence says it all. On the other hand he may be very serious in which case we sceptics have a very, very long way to go. I hope not. I sincerely hope for all our sakes I am right here.

  67. Sad-But-True-Its-You says:, in part on March 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm:
    “Just another example of, the “Arctic ocean will be ice free by summer 2010″”.

    I checked Google for that phrase since I remember recently hearing in
    WUWT this being said about 2012. Google could find me only one example
    of this phrase using 2010, and it was said in the above S-B-T-I-Y comment.
    For 2012, the only example I found with Google was a comment in a June
    2012 WUWT article.

  68. The storm did not completely defy forecasts in Philadelphia. At least some
    weather forecasting servives in Philadelphia were saying 4 or 2-4 inches for
    Philadelphia, but with a chance of little snow at all, from days before the
    storm to hours before the snow was supposed to start.

    All along until the eve of the storm, the Channel 6 news said that the
    models were not in agreement.

  69. I agree with Achenbach. In nearly every disaster in my life, I have seen that it was reality that was at fault.

  70. Any one else forecasting another big blizzard system for great plains into DC and New England coming up the 5-7th of March?— Richard Holle (@aerologycom) March 2, 2013

    posted on March 2nd, linked to the same daily maps that have been on line for six years;

    http://www.aerology.com/Home/Index?location=NorthAmerica&mapType=Snwd&date=3/7/2013

    current status of site upgrade, new temperature color scale maps processed up to 1-31-2013;

    http://research.aerology.com/natural-processes/temperature-scale-update-on-maps/

    These maps are based on the past four cycles of the lunar declinational pattern repeats on a 6558 day long period, I think for a six year lead time they did almost as well as the 5 to 7 day models did. This is the determinist chaos that Gavin hints at but he calls it random, I do not think it is random, and 28 years ago I set out to find these patterns for myself.

  71. Weather models; ecm, gem,nam, jma, gfs are pretty good and getting better. But they all fail to predict the weather exactly. Nature is always messing up the models. Figuratively, sarcasm fails as humor when it isn’t recognized as sarcasm. When everybody is left wondering, “Is he being sarcastic?” Failure mode. It was neither will written nor well thought out.

  72. Yeah well, I reside smack in the middle of South-Western Ontario, just about equidistant from Lake Ontario and Lake Huron with Lake Erie a bit closer. The “Land Between the Lakes”…a Maritime environment slap in the middle of a large continent. A Chaotic situation with many many variables…Weather Forecasts seem more entertainment than prediction…..mostly dramatic, frequent changes…..and the odd massive surprise especially in winter………
    ..massive storms that suddenly appear out of nowhere and farces like “Snow-quester”….one a few years back embarrassed the Greater Toronto mayor who in anticipation called for federal assistance…the army….to help clean up a….flurry….

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