Is Forecast Discussion especially pessimistic?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by AA5Bman, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Line Up and Wait

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    I really like reading the Forecast Discussion, especially for long range weather planning. But I'm just curious: does anyone else feel like they are consistently more pessimistic than A) other forecast tools, and B) the actual weather? I feel like if I were to rely only on the Forecast Discussion, I would cancel a lot of otherwise makeable flights. Am I out on a limb here?
     
  2. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    I don't make any presumption of optimistic/pessimistic. I use it to know whether something is coming. We don't know exactly when or where, but I'll keep an eye on that something in case it comes my way at an inopportune time.
     
  3. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Probably depends on the person writing it. That being said, I think they prefer to over hype an event rather than miss one. Far better to warn people of something that may not happen, then fail to warn them of something that could happen.
     
  4. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I haven’t noticed them to be particularly optimistic or pessimistic, but rather just telling things how they are. Generally, they’re very detailed and informative, unlike some of the other forecasting tools.
     
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  5. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I assume they are making forecasts based on percentages, ie half the time more optimistic, half the time more pessimistic. They should be using the odds and I should be realizing there may be an error either way, but I will error on the pessimistic side, especially if I see the weather is worse than their forecast.
     
  6. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Line Up and Wait

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    This is how it feels to me. I don't mind them being pessimistic, but like any source, it's good to know their slant.
     
  7. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Only on lousy days.
     
  8. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Rainbows and unicorns all quadrants or scattered showers with winds strong enough to blow livestock.
     
  9. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    Definitely the tone is set by the person writing the discussion. Some are chatty and informative and seem to be written with the assumption that the reader is not a meterologist. Some, on the other hand, are filled with jargon. Both types are useful to get a general idea of what's out there and what the near term might bring.

    Does anyone else miss the area forecasts? I found those better than the graphical stuff we have to deal with now. I like reading...
     
  10. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    Depends if I’m looking to fly vs looking for a reason not to fly.
     
  11. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    I like it that the forecast discussion will reveal when the forecaster has low confidence in something.

    I don’t see that anywhere else, and without it, you’d get the impression that every forecast is definitive.
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I rely heavily on the discussion, in fact did so just this morning coming home from TX. There is a bit of variety depending on the forecaster. Possible you just have a pessimistic one in your area. Some feel like the hate doing it, some seem like they love it. Some read like a masters level weather class, others keep it simple. I kind of like the variety. Often I'll peek at the neighboring areas to get another forecaster's view on the same system.
     
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  13. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Highly variable area to area in tone and quality of usefulness.
     
  14. MICHAEL MAHN

    MICHAEL MAHN Filing Flight Plan

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    A DPE told me meteorologists are free to speak their minds in Forecast Discussions whereas there's pressure on them, in particular when there is uncertainty, to paint a rosier picture in the other weather products. I really know nothing about this, but I assumed this meant there are certain forecasts which hinder airline operations and so they're under pressure to be darned sure when they make that call. I wish I could remember, but he even gave me key words to look for in the FD to identify this situation.