100% Chance of Uncertainty

Dear Reader,

How much does the weather affect your life? I was recently in Cartagena, Colombia and everyday for a week the days were hot and sunny and the evenings were comfortable and breezy. The weather over there is so predictable, I’m sure many take it for granted. Here in Boston, every night before I go to sleep I check the weather on my phone because I want to be sure that I am prepared for the next day. The last few days have been irregular with highs in the 60s, but today it felt more like January with light precipitation and temperatures in the low 30s.

While I expect cold weather in the winter and hot weather in the summer, the unpredictability of the day-to-day (or even hour-by-hour) forecast is enough to drive one mad. I am the sort of person who walks everywhere. This means that knowing the temperature and likelihood of precipitation is of the utmost importance to me. Yesterday, I saw that there was a distinct chance of rain from the early to mid-morning, so I decided to bring my umbrella with me. While the air was moist, there was no rain when I began my walk. By 8am, the rain was forecasted to stop, so I ditched my umbrella on this advice. However, after walking for about an hour more, I sat down at a cafe and looked out of a window to see that it was raining moderately. I felt so betrayed! I pulled out my weather app and the page updated before my eyes. Where there used to be gray clouds was now replaced with rain droplets. And, according to the updated forecast the rain was due to continue for two more hours….

I do not do well with uncertainty. If it is going to rain, it is going to rain. I will carry my umbrella all-day if it is going to rain without (or with little) complaint. However, when the forecast changes dramatically throughout the day, I feel as if I am being fed misinformation, rather than a true account. It is raining today outside of my window as I write this, yet the forecast says it’s dry….

I recently learned from my boyfriend that through a government auction, 5G telecom companies recently won the right to a wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum that is located extremely close to the wavelengths that meterologists use to predict the weather. Meteorologists understand and predict weather on a molecular level through satellites. These molecules are measured at a certain frequency. If telecom companies operate at a similar frequency, then there could be unintentional negative consequences for meteorologists. This was all news to me. In my mind, predicting the weather was as simple as looking at some clouds and measuring air pressure to predict sunny versus wet days.

Weather forecasts are precise, but, of course, still have their faults. Learning that the accuracy of forecasts could decline due to competition in the electromagnetic sphere makes me shudder. Will I be doomed to step out of my house each morning wondering just what is to come? Should I plan on carrying an umbrella whenever overcast skies are predicated? I’m kind of exaggerating, but at the same time, I feel that for those of us who do not live in high-pressure systems, weather is EXTREMELY important. We plan our days and lives around weather. Thunderstorms for an afternoon can mean cancelling a child’s pool party, a company picnic, or a long-awaited day at the beach.

At the time of this writing, research into the effects of the licensing are still being carried out to determine to what extent (if any) 5G networks will have on forecasting. The general feel of the internet seems to indicate that the results will be negative, however, there are some sources denying that any tangible effect will come from this.

For me, at the end of the day, Boston is Boston. I do not expect it to routinely be 80 degrees and sunny. I don’t even expect the weather to be consistent from day to day. However, it would be nice to at least trust the forecast and not have to impulsively refresh the page every few hours just to make sure that things have not dramatically shifted. Until that day, Dear Reader, for me “clouds” = “umbrella” and “light rain” = “it’s going to pour.”

Wishing you a dry and pleasant winter.



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