One of the side affects of modern-day media is information overload. In fact, there are so many sources of news and information it is literally impossible to keep up with everything. Weather sources have suffered very similar fates over the past few years, with so many different places to access weather data that you can’t possibly hope to keep up with them all.
One of the biggest things to keep in mind when it comes to finding a good weather source is to keep it simple.
With so many sources, its best to stick to just a couple.
Getting a Forecast
The first place you should look for weather sources is traditional media. Television weather sources, especially in more severe weather prone markets, will typically deliver good forecasts.
Another place you should be looking is your local National Weather Service forecast office. The NWS in particular is a reliable and good place to look for your forecast information.
Social media is a decent outlet, but vet your sources accordingly. Some social weather pages are really good even if they’re independent of the NWS and local media. Other pages are not that good though.
Judging for yourself what is and is not a good weather source is important.
What Makes a Good Forecast
We’ve written on this one before.
The three pronged rule is still a good test to measure forecasters. However, I’d like to tweak the third one this time around.
- They’re the only ones saying it. Most meteorologists are pretty skilled, so if someone is constantly out in left field that’s because they are.
- They’re way too specific many days out. Saying there’s going to be a foot of snow in a week is absurd. Don’t trust that type of specifity more than a day or two out.
- They use scary language way too often. Scaring you with words like ‘violent, deadly tornado outbreak’ on a frequent basis means people are trying to keep you hooked. Really deadly weather days do happen. Speaking in hyperbole often doesn’t make a good forecast though. Look for more measured voices. Those voices will use big words when big weather is happening.
Keep the Sources Simple
While applying the rules above and looking for sources across various outlets, remember to keep things simple. Don’t overload yourself with too much information. Looking at six different forecasts the morning of an event will mean you will see six different ideas.
People are not equipped to handle that type of information flow typically. You only need a couple sources of weather information. Remember to keep your information flow simple to avoid confusion.