What are three reasons that rain predictions made by meteorologists are sometimes incorrect?
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Reason 1: the low pressure is moving slower than expected. This is, incidentally, exactly what happens in northern Europe right now. The high pressure was supposed to give place to a low moving in from the Atlantic by tomorrow but it is delayed until Monday.
Reason 2: the low pressure fills in, there is less convection and the precipitation isn't what was expected to be. It may snow a little but not as predicted.
Reason 3: The low pressure moves in but the temperature isn't as cold as expected. The snow that comes from the cloud turns out to be sleet or rain once getting to the ground. That could also be caused by e.g. a large body of warmer water, such as the sea a large lake, at the beginning of the winter when the water is still warmer than the land.
Just to explain how unpredictable the weather can be: last summer, I flew home from north Norway my little aircraft when I met head winds that made me land to refuel. Although I had thoroughly checked the weather before departure, the low ceiling of dark clouds made me call the aviation met office by phone. They told me:
- "Hang on, we have just see a low pressure building over Denmark. We are not sure it will move towards Sweden or the Oslo fjord. Call us back in half an hour!"