Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Why are weather apps often so wrong about Vancouver’s forecasts?

Simon & Garfunkel sang that they get all the news from weather reports – but many say they don’t trust the information they get from online weather applications.

In a video shared on TikTok, a frustrated Vancouver-based singer/songwriter asks why weather forecasts are often wrong.

“I’ve never questioned my reality more than being told every single day by a weather app that it’s going to rain every day for the next week and a half and it’s the best day of my life,” she says.

“I’m being ‘gaslit’ by the weather app.”

The video has been viewed nearly 20,000 times and dozens of people commented that they agreed. Some of them noted that recent forecasts appear to be particularly inaccurate.

@_xty__ It’s raining somewhere in Vancouver #yvr Original Soundtrack – •XTY•

Metro Vancouver Weather App

Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan told vancouver is great In a phone interview that not all weather applications are created equal.

The national weather forecaster has its own weather app, WeatherCan, which provides current conditions, hourly and seven-day forecasts for over 10,000 locations in Canada. It also provides push notifications for all weather alerts.

“So you’re in the prairie [and] There’s a tornado clock that, when pushed to your phone, instantly buzzes. And then you are warned of at least the most important weather, dangerous or high-impact weather that could come your way,” he explained.

“That’s the big difference between our app and all the other apps. Because Environment Canada clearly has a mandate to talk weather alert levels.”

Many smartphones come with a weather app that has raw “international output” that is not specific to the region, Castellan notes. This information may be “dramatically incorrect”.

“I woke up on my phone saying, ‘You’re in Victoria, it’s minus 17 and it’s going to go down to minus 25 today.’ And yes, it’s January, but it’s not likely to happen because it’s already 10 degrees.”

On the other hand, operational meteorologists at Environment Canada work 24 hours a day, seven days a week interpreting model outputs. They offer regional forecasts and adjust the output of the raw models before they go out on the app.

Nation World News Desk
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