July Status Update - Blessing in Disguise
By Justin Poublon
July 14, 2021 - 10:15 PM CST | 59 2
Good evening! I hope you are doing well!
Hows your Wsconsin weather been lately? My weather has been kind of bizarre. A drought to start now it won't stop raining. The grass is growing like crazy but it's GREEN everywhere and I love it!
With the storms tonight, as the rain gage swells and anvil crawlers rumble overhead; I felt this was a great moment to provide an update!
I'll start with the obvious fact I haven't been able to rekindle my pre-2020 passion for all things Wisconsin weather...yet! I'd love to post more, get back to providing high quality information, and lead the way on innovation like in the past. To get away from all this personal life talk and get to the point. It simply hasn't happened for me yet. I'm stuck in this phase. It's okay. I believe my hiatus is a blessing in disguise. I will wait however long it takes. Thank you for sticking it out with me :)
In my time away from weather, I've had many family/work challenges to navigate, issues created by the destruction of my past life. Uncertainty regarding my next career while being open minded to all possibile pathways. Staying close to my kids. Trying to build positive karma. ALWAYS being kind and patient even when things ain't peachy.
IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE
It's difficult to put in words how we got here. From multi-platfrom weather service juggernaut to this. I STILL don't understand it. Looking back it feels like the spark vanished in an instant? Where did it go? Was it taken away? Why? I've always felt called to act regarding our weather, guided by my spiritual compass that gives me sense of purpose and direction. I was either reassigned, put somewhere I was needed more, or needed to learn something. C0vid opened my eyes to many things which unfortunately made me feel uncomfortable in my own domain. I couldn't really connect with people anymore and the flow state went away. I don't feel like all of us are on the same page.
THE WEATHER BIZ
To be honest, weather prediction lifestyle wasn't the healthiest. The stress involved with predicting the future in high detail and beating myself up for inaccuracies afterwards was not ideal. Removing myself from that environment has given me new & useful perspective.
I still follow the weather models and usually know what's going on. It's entertaining to listen to weather forecast rumors that spread around in passing. In the past I would get very frustrated and speak my two cents (share my forecast). "OK, weirdo" was commonly the vibe I got. NOW when people ask me I act as if I know nothing. Shrugging shoulders and blank stares.
I've been OBSERVING. What I observed today makes me feel like I am needed back in the weather world. But how and when? What is the right way to do this going forwrd? And when is the right time to start doing it? I unfortunately don't have those answers right now. I won't come back until I can commit long term. I want to keep my promises.
I think often about reconnecting with the Facebook page. The best hello again would be a great storm chasing live stream opportunity. I will have to earn everyone back.
I feel like - as an industry - we can improve the way weather information is communicated. Paired with better understanding - from the audience - of how the weather works. It's like the audience expects absolutes when all we can deliver are ranges. We give them or they develop unrealistic expectations. I hear it all the time: "They say it's going to rain at 2PM. First they said 4. Now they say 2. They say we're going to get 2" of rain. Yesterday they said 6" so who knows."
I love to ask, whose "THEY". It's like everytime people watch the forecast on TV, they know it's likely wrong but they can't stop watching, then they share the info? Anyway, I feel something is missing from the equation. So to try this again in the future, I will likely take a different approach. Just like how VHS and newspapers we're overcome by newer methods, surely there is a more effective way to share weather information? I've long speculated that blogs or storm event pages could go away. Maybe they can be replaced by a new update strategy or system?
For now I'm comfortable simply saying nothing until feel called to do so, usually during an extreme weather event or something of particularly high concern.
Storm Chasing Not Great
I've taken a different approach to chasing storms in 2020 and 2021. Last year with the website memberships, I put myself under pressure to verify my own predictions. When things went wrong it, things went bad all around. The only thing I remember about last year was missing the August derecho in Iowa.
In 2021 I've allowed SPC Convective Outlooks back into my life/decision making process. I'm trying to reduce the long out-of-state trips by requiring a MOD RISK or higher. I'm not chasing weak or marginal events unless it's hyper local and/or opportunistic. While my availability remains great being a stay at home dad, I've only left the house to chase storms maybe 4 times this season (normally upwards of 10 by now) and didn't have my first chase until June. So it's been maybe the slowest season ever around here. I haven't had much success and I've had to work very hard for anything I did get.
Recent years are much weaker regarding tstorm severity relative to 2017, early 2010s, and the 2000s. I don't want to stress over - what has been on the average - weakling setups and storms.
It's my personal belief that our world is in a transitional period as corruption is revealed. Our environment is changing and we must adapt to our new one. Perhaps soon society can detach from the traditional forms of communication and be done with the mainstream consensus mentality, end our worship to the media gods, and develop our own individual sense of responsibility regarding the accuracy of the information we take in and spread around. I believe then there would be more value placed on people like me who don't follow the crowd. What if society finds the mainstream to be totally untrustworthy? That puts people like me in a favorable position going forward. So yea, this time away may just be a blessing in disguise. :)
Take it easy and talk to you soon!