Several years ago before http://www.theweathernetwork.ca came on the scene, everyone still talked about the weather, whether it was good, bad, cold, warm, rainy or snowy. The difference compared today was; we were commenting on the weather we were experiencing or had experienced, not what was being forecast on the web or TV.
Forecasts back then were pretty general; sunny and hot, chance of rain or snow and an estimated temperature. No seven-day or 14-day forecasts and no percentage of how much or when it will rain.
Most of us took forecasting with a grain of salt back then. A snow storm in the forecast meant we would hop into the old rear-wheel-drive land yacht with snow tires and drive to our favourite nearby ski resort without incident – resulting in a great day on the slopes.
Today is a different story. Weather forecasting has become serious business. Well, it always has been if you are a pilot flying the airlines or a captain sailing the high seas, but today forecasts for regular people can put the fear of God in them.
Take Father’s Day Sunday. Forecasts were for a hot steamy day in Ottawa with a chance of thunderstorms… but wait, there was more – an all-out alert for a chance of severe thunderstorms throughout the day, capable of producing heavy downpours, strong winds and the possibility of a tornado!
But wait, there was more. Another alert indicating the Ottawa area was under a Tornado watch! The alert was out there from Sunday morning to Sunday evening.
Well this put the fear of God in my wife’s parents who live in a seniors residence, and they called us and said they were not going to the father’s day barbecue my wife’s sister had planned.
So, all the steaks went back into the freezer and another day was planned to celebrate father’s day.
What happened weather-wise that day? Yes it was a hot, steamy day with a short shower over the noon hour, but it was mainly sunny and windy throughout the afternoon. By evening the temps were becoming more bearable, the sky was clearing and the winds calmed down – perfect for a barbecue.
To sum it up, these severe weather alerts which came over the TV, internet and cell phone via social media spoiled father’s day. From now on we will take note of the severe weather alerts, but we won’t alter our plans.
Did the weather alerts on father’s day alter your plans? Or did you ignore them and have a good time.