Wednesday, January 28, 2015
The mathematical models and weather predictions were wrong. The historic storm that was supposed to wallop the Tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut missed. It side slipped 75 miles to the east and hit the far tip of Long Island and New England. Government officials and citizens are angry. The communications lead-up to the storm had built expectations to an hysterical level only to have a modest snow fall with a measly five inches or so. (At least that is what it was at our house in New Jersey.) Now forecasters have a credibility gap. Predictions that they brilliantly made for the devastating storm, Hurricane Sandy, now look inept as if they held thumbs to the sky. Perhaps they trusted their models too much, or they were caught in an act of hubris. The outcome is a public relations problem. Who is going to believe them the next time? And there will be a next time. With something as variable as weather, it would seem the best stance is caution. One reminds citizens that predictions are rarely 100 percent accurate and unforeseen consequences are the rule rather than the exception. At least it will give them some cover.