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polarlow2

Too Much Info At Our Fingertips?

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One thing that has struck as me as this will it-won't it get cold spell - is the enjoyment taken out of it simply by having so much information available? When I were a nipper in the early to mid-90s the only way to know what was coming was to watch the BBC or ITV forecasts, or check Ceefex. The Countryfile forecast on a Sunday was always an exciting moment. Many a time you'd get a hint from the presenter: 'signs of a change to something much colder midweek', or something similar.

It just seems now that having access to models and seeing two weeks or so into the future, the mystery has gone. The build-up to a cold spell, even if it delivers, is frought with stress - upgrades, downgrades, stellar run, winter's over etc. Enjoyable? Or stressful?

Give me Ceefax page 403 any day.

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This is something i think about quite often, sometimes i really dont like to go to far ahead say over a week into what could be exciting or rather boring weather-i would rather not know, i do like to know whats possible for at least a week, then maybe something exciting is possible on the weather front, i try not to get excited before its almost certain for interest to happen, quite often things change.

The bbc ceefax(weather pages 400+, the page 405 is weather warnings...) is still on the old tv, i always wondered why they cant do radar/lightning snaps on a page, i must say that model watching can be frustrating, but only if you want a certain type of weather i think and its not doing what you want, but generally i enjoy looking through the models whatever its showing. having access to to lots of weather data is to me exciting, but sometimes yes i would like to just have the ceefax/weather forecasts, this thread should make an interesting discussion! its difficult really to say what i would want if i had to choose-the models/forecasts or just the weather forecasts/ceefax/radio.. when those thunderstorms are heading across the Channel these days its good to watch the sat/detectors, it is exciting tracking thunderstorms like that, but before the internet we would just watch the forecasts and the sky! now we can do all three. watching those bright flashes of lightning increasing as the storms get closer at nights is so exciting, i do find being able to see on the computer by detectors/and reading the forums what is coming is helpful, as sky watching for hours waiting for lightning to appear is tiring, its better to know when to sky watch at night! before i used the internet i would sky watch all night on and off waiting for storms that not often turned up(usually southeast clippers that just veered off somehow after heading north..), but with the internet i can save many hours from disappoinment from nothing turning up when sky watching as i know when i dont need to bother watching out for whats not going to turn up!

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Yes, I very much agree, Polarlow2. I now spend far, far too much time checking the various models many times a day, reading the swing of opinion on what they may mean, and am often (as now) none the wiser as to what they will mean. In former times the forecasters wouldn't even have mentioned it until there was a high probability. The models paint these cascades of wonderful pictures for us to dream over, and however much we know intellectually that they are only possibilities, it is hard to avoid getting excited when a particularly juicy one crops up, even two weeks ahead.

The truth is that in the UK the winter 'will it/won't it' easterly scenario was always much commoner than we imagine - in fact I suspect it was the norm. The continent, historically, had a flood of very cold air over it at some point in most winters (as continents do), and these probably looked like they might advect westwards and include us on frequent occasions. The trouble is that this long "reverse" flow is quite hard to achieve, and usually it doesn't happen. Sometimes, as in February 1991, it happens more straighforwardly - the arrival of very cold air then was correctly forecast quite some time ahead. But usually it's a more tenuous and chaotic progression, and sometimes it seems to come from practically nowhere. It is a sobering thought that, despite the advances in our technology and understanding, at least in potential easterly situations we seem little closer to knowing what will happen in three or four days' time than we were two decades ago. And I have a feeling that we'll be little further on in another two decades!

Yes, I used to be riveted by Ceefax (though I doubt they changed it four times a day) - in fact I think I took some photos of the screen just before the Feb '91 bitter cold and snow, which I might dig out and scan to post here - but the real thrill was waiting for the BBC TV late night 'Weatherview' forecast each day....and of course, as you say, most exciting of all, the Sunday Countryfile forecast "for the week ahead". Sadly I don't bother with either of them any more (though Rob McElwee's departure didn't help).

Have we lost something because of this? Yes, very possibly - at the very least many hours of my life!

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Agree with this. Next year am giving it up

cross between too much information and certain people who enjoy urinating on peoples parades when things go wrong [otherwise known as 'know it all' syndrome] take an enjoyable hobby and make it in to a irritation at times. That and even for the less 'told you so-ey' posters the mentality isnt so much a glass half empty as a rule, its the glass itself has been stolen last week. Not been that bad these last few years but eeyoring seems to be the default state of mind when it comes to chartwatching for summer heat or winter cold. After a while it becomes annoying if I am honest

not even in Britain at this time and the moaning and smugness in the model thread makes me annoyed on the behalf of those who are

give me the old days any day, where you relied on 3 day forecasts and forums and their associated trolls and prophets of doom didnt exist, and a 'mild ramp' was something you saw on a residential road. Pandoras box has indeed been opened and not sure we are better off for it tbh

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Back in the 1980s the weather bureau only released a 48 hour forecast for where I live, and I remember always eagerly awaiting the 5pm update ( as it was then ) , read out on my local radio station. At 5:05pm.

But the fun part was listening to the 4 day forecast for Melbourne ( 700km north ) in order to guage future developments which might affect my island home. Melbourne was the only capital city at the time to issue a forecast that far ahead. The only way to find out, was struggling to find a radio signal strong enough ( usually only possible in calm conditions and very late at night ).

Those were the really fun days of weather watching for me!

It's a different kind of drama now, less unexpected developments, with possibly less surprises?

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I think it really depends on what you're using the model outputs for- for any kind of long-range forecasting they are a lot more helpful than any media forecast, but it does indeed take some of the suspense and uncertainty out of the upcoming week's weather.

I remember plenty of similar "will it won't it" and disappointments when watching the BBC forecasts during the 1990s though. On a number of occasions they would show a northerly flow for about 5 days' time with sunshine and wintry showers, and then a couple of days later the forecast would show a warm westerly on the northern flank of an anticyclone. This happened on three separate occasions during March 1997 for example. The other one was when they'd show a 5-day spell of polar maritime weather (I always was a fan of those convective type "sunshine and showers" days) only to find that a couple of forecasts later, Atlantic systems were set to keep cutting off the polar maritime air and if I was lucky I might see 6 hours of "sunshine and showers" in the entire week. The only difference was that the "will it won't it" generally lay at 3-6 days out rather than 6-9 days out.

However, during the early February 2001 "very nearly easterly" the BBC forecasts emphasised the uncertainty and didn't predict that the easterly would establish fully across Britain, so I only became aware of how near we came to a major cold snowy spell south of the Scottish border when I joined BBC Snow Watch in late 2002.

If the BBC national forecasts of today were anything like they were in the 1990s (when I regarded them to be miles better than any other media forecasts) it would be very tempting to go back to relying mostly on those. However, with today's "moving away from the one size fits all approach", and gearing most forecasts towards people who couldn't care less about the weather bar "will it inconvenience and disrupt me", to avoid "disenfranchising" those viewers, I don't think they really offer a good alternative for the weather enthusiast, with the exception of the Countryfile ones that occur once per week. Thus, for better or worse, I feel that I am committed to the current version of "will it or won't it".

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Quote from the model thread:

Steve Murr, on 27 January 2012 - 09:41 , said:

http://www.knmi.nl/e...agse/index.html

ECM long ensembles-

Best in terms of temps since the dawn of the internet-

1 early GFS sympathy run thrown in there near the start...

-20C scale was indeed used...

S

stewfox response:

"Sometimes you come across as a a great councillor helping the addicts understand the problems they face with their addictions , its trends , minor changes in the macro can have major changes in the micro. Keep it simple the road to recovery of proper winter weather can't be rushed.

Then its like someone offering whisky to an Alcoholic all these belting charts out in F1 isn't that just cruel for the addict who wants cold and snow. I was getting use to keeping it in the day or within T72 as they say to new members ?. T72 it works if you work it keep coming back.

Us additcs feed on these FI charts what happens if they don't come off , I can see the pain of withdrawal now."

Pixel:

I saw this in the model thread (above) whilst typing an epitaph for my self regarding being an addict here on NW… in fact I will…

'T72 wasn't enough'

I've lost hours.. no sorry days, in here being fed with various imaginings of impending snowmageddon, downgrades, this chart shows at T240.. we're doomed etc and have come to the conclusion that I would like my IP address blocked from this site to stop me ever being fed anymore information - it's a blxxdy drug and I'm addicted.

T72 is where I'm hoping addiction ends, but the occasional nip into FI (anything more than 3 days away) for a fix will inevitably end in tears.

YES, too much information is a bad thing - always with all things - better to take in moderation

Bring back the magnetic clouds!!

My IP address is: 365.365.365.365

(-:

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One thing that has struck as me as this will it-won't it get cold spell - is the enjoyment taken out of it simply by having so much information available? When I were a nipper in the early to mid-90s the only way to know what was coming was to watch the BBC or ITV forecasts, or check Ceefex. The Countryfile forecast on a Sunday was always an exciting moment. Many a time you'd get a hint from the presenter: 'signs of a change to something much colder midweek', or something similar.

It just seems now that having access to models and seeing two weeks or so into the future, the mystery has gone. The build-up to a cold spell, even if it delivers, is frought with stress - upgrades, downgrades, stellar run, winter's over etc. Enjoyable? Or stressful?

Give me Ceefax page 403 any day.

personally, for me, there is no such thing as too much info! i still crave the info that isn't available to us, despite the wealth of info that is available! i guess i'm just greedy!!

ah good old ceefax - me and my cousin used to go to the phonebox armed with many pound coins and call that premium rate number on the ceefax pages for "7 day forecasts"! i certainly dont miss that!!

agree that model watching is very stressful....as for enjoyable...we'll have to wait to see if it snows!!

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