After the Christmas Blizzard fizzle of a few weeks back, you would think our local TV meteorologists would have learned their lesson regarding dire long-term winter weather forecasting. But did they? Of course not. They’re back at it like never before.
This time, the hype machine is being fueled by KOCO’s Damon Lane. Yesterday, he warned that advanced computer models are forecasting record-breaking low temperatures in OKC… for January 17th.
Yep, here we go again. From KOCO.com:
We know it’s winter and it’s suppose to get cold, but if the models are even close to being correct here, then Oklahoma is about to turn into an ice box in about 2 weeks…
The image above comes from the GFS model. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, this is a model that goes out 2 weeks, how accurate can it be? And I am with you on this one.
So, uhm, if you’re with us “on this one” and don’t trust the computer models, why even bring it up? Do you own stock in those Styrofoam things people put over their outdoor faucets? Why not wait until you have a better idea how things are going to turn out?
So, what is this image above telling me? This map shows the temperature departure from normal. The purple shading, which is over Oklahoma, means temperatures about 40 degrees below normal on January 17th at 6 a.m. Just for fun, if we did the math, this would mean that Oklahoma City that morning would have a morning low temperature of about 15 degrees below zero. That would almost be a record low for the city as the coldest temperature ever in OKC is -17.
Do I believe this? It’s tough to believe that exact number there although anything is possible.
If it’s tough to believe, why hype it on your website?! You’re a weatherman for a TV news affiliate. You should only report things that are believable. This would be like Dean Blevins running a computer model to predict the score of next month’s Super Bowl, using the scenario where the Texans beat the Seahawks by a touchdown, and then proclaiming on News 9’s website that the Texans will win the Super Bowl.
Actually, that’s a bad analogy. I can totally see Dean doing something like that. At least Damon kind of came down to earth at the end:
I do see there being cold air moving into America in about 2 weeks and yes I do see it being the type that is or Arctic origin, which is meteorology lingo means “very cold”.
So, get ready for the cold Oklahoma. How cold will it get exactly? It’s still too early to tell. If you wanted a real winter, you’re about to get it.
Yeah, thanks for that. I’ll plan on morning lows being anywhere from 30 to -20 degrees.
Anyway, the problem with this whole thing is now that Damon has made one whacky prediction, all the other TV heads are going to follow. That’s just how it works, and why I think we should get all the local weatherman to sign some peace accord that prevents them from making dire weather predictions that are more than five days out. I think that would be useful and would prevent the hype machine from taking control.
If you’re a weatherman and are interested in doing this, leave a comment and let us know. Or leave a comment, get incredibly angry as you wait for it to be approved, and then email us some more pics of your wife. Either way will work.
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