I can't believe it. Yesterday evening, while taking a break from my middle aged routine of cursing at the TV volume (which seems to rise and fall of its own free will), dripping small but noticeable food items onto my shirt (if this carries on I'm going to have to start eating at the table) and fending off an over-affectionate dog (actually it's a very selfish dog who wants to be cuddled every ten minutes), I looked up the local weather forecast on the internet.
The weather forecast here on the west coast of Canada seems to be a tricky beast. Coming from the UK originally, I had become used to placing some faith in weather forecasts - even in what is apparently one of the most notoriously difficult placesin the world to forecast the weather (I picked that up at a weather forecaster's party which I accidentally gatecrashed many years ago - I had to leave because I hadn't brought my own white board and magnetic weather symbols). Living here in British Columbia for the last ten years, I have, it's sad to say, relinquished any lingering confidence in what the TV meteorologists have to tell me.
It's not that I'm a weather geek or nerd, by the way; true, I have written down every weather CBC forecast for the last ten years on the inside of each of my collection of (inflated) weather balloons - but that's just normal, I know. Yes?
I do, however, expect that if a TV station or web service is going to go to the trouble of employing weather forecasters, using frighteningly powerful computers and reminding us every seven minutes of every news broadcast that weather is 'coming right up', then they should be able to (or at least want to) get their forecasts remotely correct.
My experience here has been that the forecasters are woeful. My (admittedly walnut-sized) brain is full of instances where - in particular - a chirpy, skinny English forecaster has cheerfully forecast one set of weather conditions, only to even more cheerfully tell us the following night "Well that front didn't behave quite the way we expected it to, and that explains why your basement is flooded, hahaha!", as if it's just one of those things. Over the years I've ripped in half all my telephone directories in frustration...
I feel somewhat - and I believe, justifiably - aggrieved at this "Oh well, there ya go!" attitude to getting their job hopelessly wrong. Because the point is: IT'S THEIR JOB - IT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID TO BE GOOD AT. There have been times when the piece of seaweed hanging outside the front door has been more accurate than the TV or web forecasters. You know the kind of thing: if it's wet it's raining...
The latest example of this inaccuracy has forced - FORCED I say! - me to talk about this today. Yesterday the forecast was for high pressure and sunny skies for three days. Today was sunny with light cloud. Tonight, having of course foolishly planned some activities based on the forecast (I mean high pressure is hard to get wrong after all), I find that tomorrow now has a mystically surprising forecast of snow and rain! In the space of twenty four hours we have almost had a complete reversal of the forecast...now I can understand (with a latent interest in meteorology) that things change - I really do get it that the weather is a fickle thing. I can forgive people making mistakes - but what really ticks me off is that the forecast is posted when clearly the appropriate amount of information has not been gathered, or has been misinterpreted to a major degree.
If it didn't happen all the time, I wouldn't be complaining, but it's getting ridiculous. In this case it means - brace yourself for the import of this - that I will probably not be able, as I planned, to pick up and distribute in my garden, two pickup-loads of composted horse poo. Shit.