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Monday: January 5, 2009

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:16 PM GMT-0500

I’ve posted on this before, but it’s gotten particularly bad recently. Four times in the last week, the National Weather Service has displayed a current temperature for my town higher than the expected high for the day. Surely if the current temperature is 68o F, the expected high cannot be 62o, it must be at least 68o. Is there any programming language in which that cannot be fixed with a single line of code?

Today the expected high was 49o, while the reported temperature around noon was 63o, which is what it felt like. A fourteen degree discrepancy is impressive, even for government bureaucrats.

A subtler problem seems equally serious. Tomorrow’s expected high (or “hi”) is 34o, while tomorrow night’s expected low (or “lo”) is 35o. Is that mathematically possible? Surely a nightly low cannot be higher than the high in a directly adjacent day, either before or after? I don’t know when the official switchover from day to night is (sunset?), but if the temperature in the last minute of day is 34o or less, can it really be 35o or more in the first minute of night? If anything, we would expect a relatively sudden drop in temperature at sunset, but today’s forecast implies a sudden jump.

I would feel a lot more confident in estimating the chances that tomorrow will be a Snow Day if I thought I could trust the NWS website.