On the prediction of weather in Singapore

Feeling rather tired in the afternoon and with no work to do, I thought I’d hit up Starbucks for the usual triple venti low-fat iced latte and an hour with William Gibson’s so-far-enthralling Neuromancer.

I’ve gotten into the habit of relying on the local NEA (National Environmental Agency) website for weather forecasts, despite having been burnt – perhaps ‘soaked’ is the more appropriate word – on a number of occasions. Still, I checked the website before leaving and was guaranteed by a minutes-old analysis that the good weather would last the rest of the evening.

It takes less than half an hour to get to the nearest Starbucks. Barely a minute after making it here, it started coming down; a fact I could not have anticipated with any of my bodily senses, but perhaps should have with some basic pattern recognition and Murphy’s Law. Photographic proof is enclosed.

The question I’m leading up to is this: what does it take to be a government-employed meteorologist in Singapore? Do our tropical conditions make the job more difficult? Is it more guesswork than science? If you go to the site, you’ll see an animated rain map which charts the movements of storm clouds over time.

In the past, I’ve had a lot more success than the “experts” in predicting the spread of rain just by watching which way the winds appear to be moving, but in today’s case the storm hadn’t started yet. Why can’t we get accurate weather reports? Will someone hire me to do this without some sort of degree in making shit up?

Actually, I do have an English degree.

— Posted from my iPhone

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