Weather Beaten

The past year was truly disastrous; 2012 figures to be less so, assuming we stop behaving stupidly

To look ahead, we must look back. This is especially true when it comes to weather--which might not be the kind of thing you expect to hear from a guy whose job it is to forecast storms and droughts, not to reflect on past ones.

All forecasts are initially based on good data, and the margin of error increases the further out we project. Our ability to create even five-day forecasts is a relatively recent development--about as good as our ability to create three-day forecasts 20 years ago. This, of course, means that predicting all four seasons in 2012 is impossible,...

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