There have always been extreme weather events on this little patch of green and blue that we live on, but we now regularly get to see them literally as they happen. As technology advances, news and weather are now reported around the clock. While it may seem that extreme weather is becoming more prevalent, it may just be that we are hearing about it more than ever before. With long range weather forecasting what all of this really shows, though, is just how good meteorologists are at predicting exactly when and where these major events will strike.
Predicting extreme weather, especially in the parts of the world where they regularly occur, can help save lives, and the people who deliver those weather forecasts work diligently to ensure that people are made aware of what’s going to happen in advance. If, for example, you live in a part of the world were hurricanes are common, you have probably grown used to seeing forecasts predicting the path of the storm, and where it will make landfall. These are things that we all take for granted now, and it’s often easy to forget just how much hard work and thought goes into delivering that information.
It should be noted that forecasters don’t just start tracking a storm the moment that it shows up on the satellite images. They are constantly monitoring the atmosphere around the world to look for patterns that tend to lead to extreme weather events. Once those familiar patterns start to emerge, they can then start thinking about where the extreme weather will begin, and where it is likely to be headed given the current conditions. Much is often made about how inaccurate weather forecasting is, but the reality is that without these predictions, we would be totally unprepared for when bad weather hits.
The reason is it so difficult to predict exactly is because Mother Nature likes to play by her own rules. The sophisticated equipment used by meteorologists can help them see that things are shaping up for a big weather event, but pinpointing exactly when it will begin is where things can get tricky. They may know that a hurricane is developing in a certain part of the world, and may have it pinned down to a 2-3 day starting period, but it’s good old Mother Nature who really runs the show.
To make matters worse, the media now wants as many details as possible, as weather is an important aspect of what they deliver. That puts additional pressure on the meteorologists, and makes the act of predicting extreme weather all the more stressful. Pay attention to these types of events and you will see that they get it right a whole lot more often than not. Locations are now evacuated well in advance, and countless lives are saved because of all this hard work going on behind the scenes.