I had my car washed today. It’s not that it was dirty as much as I wanted it to be clean! I was going to a meeting with my weatherboy peeps and this is as close as I get to ‘dress to impress.’
All things considered, I should have taken a pass. I’m on vacation. However, the guest of honor was Walt Drag. That changes everything!
I’d better explain. In the weather world, even when you don’t use the Weather Service forecast (and I don’t), you still read the Weather Service discussions. They are heavily technical and go deep into the thought process of the on-duty NWS lead forecaster.
They’re fascinating and insightful and loaded with enough abbreviations to make them nearly unintelligible to casual readers. Walt Drag is the Steven Spielberg of the forecast discussion!
Walt was coming with Nicole Belk, a Weather Service hydrologist (think flooding). Together, they were presenting a rundown of changes and highlights at the Weather Service.
Since the Weather Service office that serves most of Northern Connecticut is in Taunton, MA, and since 20 local meteorologists were expected, Walt and Nicole came to Connecticut. Brad Field at Channel 30 volunteered their studio as our lecture hall.
That was pretty nice. That WVIT sprung for sandwiches was even nicer.
In 23 years in Connecticut, I’d never been inside of Channel 30. In fact, though I’d seen the building from the Interstate, and knew its address, I couldn’t find it until cruising through the neighborhood a few times.
It was nice to see ‘the guys.’ Other than Nicole, all the local mets attending were guys. Some I hadn’t met before. Some I hadn’t heard of before. A few were really young – I hate that.
I tend to be a pain-in-the-butt at times like this, and today was no exception. I have a huge beef with the Weather Service, and I got it off my chest again.
Though I don’t use the NWS forecast, I do try and use their watches, warnings and advisories. The problem is, there are three Weather Service offices that cover Connecticut. Each serves a small slice of the state and is quite parochial in its outlook.
There’s no easy way to explain this, but sometimes using the watches and warnings from all three offices would be misleading. That’s especially true during winter weather situations.
There needs to be a lot more coordination than there is now.
Brad said he sometimes changes what’s issued, so it makes sense – even though he’s putting words in the NWS’ mouth. I do the same thing. We can’t be alone.
Unfortunately, I’ve been bringing this up for as long as I can remember. And, obviously, I haven’t had a lot of impact.
It’s a shame, because in the long run, it’s the general public that gets under served because of this situation.
I did learn a lot from what Walt and Nicole presented, which was good. It was also a lot of fun getting to see all those people I usually only see on TV.
Oh – it was also good to finally see what Channel 30 looks like.