Weather Eye for Sailors
As we sailed on a clear bright day along the York River near Yorktown, we could see way off in the distance the low cloud formation of Tropical Storm Ana. Ned Neidlinger is a retired Air Force weather expert who was sailing with the spring class of the Williamsburg Area Learning Tree. “People are surprised to learn that in the 1960s weather forecasts were only 30 percent accurate. Today it’s much better, and extremely accurate from 24 to 36 hours out. Beyond that, the accuracy diminishes.” That’s significant, because it means that 10-day forecasts are borderline bunk. “You can learn a lot by observing the clouds and their movement, along with how the wind hits the trees. The young men from Iowa knew more than all of us.” I watch at least three weather and wind forecasts every morning, of which the most valuable is the rain radar predictor developed by WVEC Channel 13.