Forecast fibbing

When do you not want your forecaster telling you everything she knows?

Tom Pagano, who used to do our Rio Grande forecasts for the NRCS and now is a sort of global wandering river forecaster without portfolio, explains from the vantage point of a passenger sitting at Gatwick:

Imagine a parallel universe without bias on the departure board, where half the planes leave early and half leave late. Passengers would check the board and perhaps some would decide they have enough time to get another coffee. It would be clearly upsetting to come back “on time” and discover the plane already left. People also get very mad when buses or trains run ahead of schedule.

If you’re interested in the forecasting problem, especially what happens at the interface between forecaster and information user, Tom’s blog is a consistently fascinating read. (You can learn more about what Tom does, and how he does it, in my book.)