Most entries in the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame earn the honor with a consistent excellency throughout the entire work. As Hurricane Hermine approached the Florida coast earlier this week, forecasters at the Tallahassee forecast office were focused on the effects of that storm. The fire weather discussion contained a single word, and that’s what landed it as the most recent entry.
It’s worth noting, too, that several subsequent updates to the Area Forecast Discussion left the fire weather section unchanged. I’m glad to see Southern Region Headquarters did not immediately rain bureaucratic hell upon the office. I’m not sure that would be the case in other regions.
On Friday, The Atlantic published an article about National Weather Service forecast discussions and why they are…they way they are. The article prominently featured several entries in the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame and mentioned yours truly by name. After years of carefully curating the best forecast discussions, my hard work is finally paying off. Time to quit my job and bask in the glory!
Okay, so maybe not. It’s a pretty cool thing to happen, though. If this blog has gained any new followers thanks to that article, welcome!
While snowfall records were falling over the weekend, FunnelFiasco records were falling, too. I took a look at the site stats for weather.funnelfiasco.com over the weekend. As of Saturday evening, just the weather subdomain had nearly 14,000 hits from about 2,700 unique visitors in January, almost all on Friday and Saturday. That’s over six months’ worth of traffic and about half a month’s for all of FunnelFiasco.
January traffic by day for weather.funnelfiasco.com through the evening of January 23.
Let’s look at some meaningless statistics. The two largest hosts were both .noaa.gov addresses, which doesn’t surprise me. I have to figure that the article would have had some interest in the halls of the National Weather Service. A caltech.edu address was 18th, which surprises me. I guess my Purdue friends don’t read The Atlantic. The leading operating system was Windows, with iOS, Linux, and OS X following. iOS was 23% of January weather.funnelfiasco.com traffic and it’s normally 1.9% of total funnelfiasco.com traffic.
Radar estimates of wind speed aren’t always the most reliable for a variety of reasons, but on Friday, forecasters in Memphis, TN opted to believe the radar instead of the surface observation. Maybe because the Millington station was reporting a 343 MPH wind gust.
NWS forecasters are public servants dedicated to preserving life and property. It should come as no surprise that they are sometimes moved by uncontrollable bursts of patriotism. Chris Hattings in Riverton, WY felt very Jeffersonian on Independence Day.
Both of these discussions have been added to the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame.
President Obama visited the National Hurricane Center today and became, as far as I can tell, the first president to receive forecaster credit in the forecast discussion. That seemed historical enough to add to the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame.
This one’s an oldie, but a goodie. Back in 1994, two forecasters wrote the state forecast discussion for Colorado in verse. Thanks to a submission from Tanja Fransen, it has now been added to the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame.
You have probably already seen an early-morning AFD from Juneau making the rounds on the Internet. The forecaster compares selecting a model to speed dating. Although the bulk of the humor is in the first paragraph, the theme persists through the rest. Certainly this is a cultural touchstone worthy of enshrining in the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame.
As a Christmas gift to you, my dear reader, I have added two new entries to the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame. Forecasters from WFO Lubbock put their area forecast discussion to the tune of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”. It’s pretty fantastic. Texas is apparently very Christmasty this year, as WFO Brownsville has included Santa in their discussion as well.
Because I’m in a giving mood, here’s a picture that WFO Miami posted earlier tonight. It looks like Santa will get his cookies at cruising altitude.
A sounding balloon with cookies attached launched by the National Weather Service Office in Miami.
This has been a good week for the National Weather Service. Two new discussions have been added to the Hall of Fame.
I added an Area Forecast Discussion from the NWS office in Minneapolis to the Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame. It nearly was rejected on the grounds that it said “Groundhog’s Day” instead of “Groundhog Day”, but I was feeling generous and so overlooked the error.
The Forecast Discussion Hall of Fame has three new entries. Two are submitted by loyal “fans” of the site, and the third is sort of a big thing in the news right now.