The answers to common questions I receive:
• Who is “theweatherguy”?
That’s me, Glenn F. Schreiber aka “theweatherguy”.
I am not a meteorologist. However, I’ve been “doing the weather” as an avid interest and hobby since I was a kid. It remains a serious hobby today.
Interested in the Internet at its start, I started posting my forecasts online as early as 1994-1995 as part of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia web site, initially hosted on something called “Libertynet”, and then phillybikeclub.org.
Back then, my forecasts were a feature called “Wheel Weekend Weather”. Here’s a link from the Internet Wayback Machine.
I’ve had the domain, theweatherguy.net since 1997 and starting posting this site in 1999. Here’s older postings from 2005.
In 2014, I moved it to its current WordPress platform.
I obtained the Twitter handle, @theweatherguy in 2009. This site auto-posts most major updates to Twitter.
• How often do you post these forecasts. Do you do these forecasts daily?
I post forecasts to this blog most Fridays, usually in the late afternoon or evening as a regular weekly feature: Weekend Weather Forecast.
Additionally, I post outlooks and forecasts where the weather will be “interesting”. Often titled Storm Forecasts or Interesting Weather.
But, there will often be days at a time where the weather is just peachy and your won’t see a post here.
The weather forecast is my daily crossword puzzle, but I don’t post it daily. It’s a hobby.
• So this is a hobby. Do you have any technical or scientific background?
I have a BS in physics from Stony Brook University (at that time called S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook). I have spent my professional life as a dentist with an initial post-doctoral specialization/certificate in anesthesiology and later a focus and practice limited to endodontics.
• What do you think is the best forecast?
Sometimes the best forecast is acknowledging that we really just don’t know. Including descriptions about level of confidence and degree of uncertainty are components of a good forecast.
• I notice you get somewhat technical at times.
I try to go technical when I can because I want to de-mystify what goes into a weather forecast. I’m trying to share my knowledge with people who want to know and understand more than what is provided on regular radio and TV broadcasts. Presumably, that’s why you’re visiting this blog.
I also try to infuse in most of my posts lesser known information about weather models and meteorological processes that I find fascinating. Maybe I can inspire others to be budding weather aficionados?
• Where do you get your data?
For many years, I would visit the wonderful weather sites on the internet, mostly university-based. There are multitudes of these sites online. College of Dupage has one of the best sites. Texas A&M University also has some unique data as does Penn State University. But there are many more and a Google search should find them. I used to spend hours and hours looking for what I called “weather gems” online.
But over recent years, I have taught myself enough aspects of programming to be able to have set up my own servers that auto-download model data directly from our own NOAA, the Canadian CMC, German DWD, and the European ECMWF.
• While we’re at it, what do you think of the local TV weather forecasts?
I try to avoid watching the local weather forecasts most days.
I do regularly visit the National Weather Service forecast site and the NOAA forecast Discussions. The NOAA NWS meteorologists are the real deal. I’m constantly impressed with them.
As for TV, there’s a wide range of talent out there. Some of the people are clearly talented and know their stuff. Some I’m not so sure of.
For some, the designation “meteorologist” is an obfuscation of their actual training and credentials: that they have an AMS certificate as a “Broadcast” meteorologist. But their true academic training may have been journalism or world history.
I imagine that TV weather must be a strange job. Most days, it’s really mostly about entertainment.
The truth is, many days the weather is probably not unusual or interesting enough to devote several minutes to.
Other times, TV weather can be very useful and informative about active weather threats.
A difficulty faced by TV weather people is their forecast geographic area is simply just too large to cover. The Poconos to Philadelphia to the the Jersey Shore are meteorologically different worlds.
As a result of the large geographic area, during a broadcast, forecast details are what I would call “are all over the place”. To top it off, it’s reduced to a single icon in the multi-day summary that often seems a contradiction of their prior details.