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JASON KADAH: Where do you get your information?

by mboyle

Posted on October 19, 2009 at 1:12 PM

I know there are some meteorologists/weathercasters out in tv weatherland that like to keep this top-secret, but that's not my style. If we're going to continue to get to know each other, I have to at least put myself out there.

Often times, my wise-crack answer to where we get our weather information or how we forecast involves something like consulting a crystal ball, calling the 'Psychic Friends Network', or getting it from the Weather Channel. In all honesty, I'm not into fortune-telling, I think Dionne Warwick is much better at singing, and the Weather Channel is great for background noise when I'm getting ready for work in the morning.

But if you're into the science, here are some of the sites I use to help assemble the forecast each day (all of which explain how to interpret the data):

LINK> Unisys weather

LINK> Meteorological development lab

LINK> Spokane's National Weather Service

LINK> Storm prediction center

Now one of the most frequent "complaints" we get are from folks in some of our smaller communities who feel like they're not being mentioned or acknowledged. As I explained in my last posting, one of the most interesting and challenging things about our area is the topography. High elevation, low elevation, valley, plateau, near water, away from water; we seem to have them all!

That, plus the lack of data/reporting points can make things tricky (check out that second website I listed and see how much data you can find from Eastern WA/Northern ID). You'll notice there isn't much. When I worked in Florida, it was so much easier to be "right" everywhere because everything was flat! Heck, we were so sure we were going to be right all the time that we gave away umbrellas if we were wrong... And I have to tell you, we didn't give away too many umbrellas!

So, in addition to the aforementioned websites, we depend on you, especially if you're in the outlying communities. The pictures you email to us really help. The reports of snow/rain/hail/wind that you email or call in help as well. It's often times a collaborative approach, especially when it comes to those snow totals.

Speaking of which, we'd need about 12.5" of snow the rest of the season to break the all-time record in case you were keeping score. Between you and me, I'm not overly convinced we'll get it. But then again, I've had much more practice with the 7 day rather than the 7-week forecast, so I guess we'll see...

Stay tuned!