Friday, March 8, 2013

European Weather Model Beating American Model - Why?

NBC just did a story with Al Roker on how the European Weather model lately has been correct time after time while the American model has missed the forecast completely - potentially putting peoples' lives in danger and being unreliable compared to the competing European model.

WHY is this happening? Just "Luck" on the part of the Europeans? No. It's worse than that.

For example, during Hurricane Sandy, the American weather model showed Sandy going harmlessly out to sea in the Atlantic. However, the European model showed that it would take a sharp left hook - as it did - and hit the Jersey Shore, etc.  

That failure by the American model jeopardized the lives of millions of people on the eastern shore, who had less time to flee and prepare if they followed our own model instead of checking out the competition.

The big storm that just hit Washington DC was predicted by the American model to be snow. The European model said it would be rain. It rained. The Europeans know something we should know. That's never a good thing for Americans and our economic leadership in this high tech world.

Why is America falling behind in weather technology and forecasting?

It's because during the 80's and 90's the Europeans invested heavily into weather technology upgrades.  America did NOT. The Europeans spent ten times what America did - so now their weather models are correct.  And ours are wrong. 

That should not be happening.

Belatedly, America has started investing into weather technology under President Obama, but it is not enough. We are really late to the party and Congress seems determined not to invest in any technology we need to lead the 21st century - despite our falling behind China in 7 key 21st Century technologies (which I describe in my book update coming in “Better Times Ahead: April Fool.”)

America must upgrade our technology and education to catch up --not just with the Europeans but our rapidly growing Asian competitors, China and India. Americans will have to do even more to regain our "mojo" to be the world's best we were for decades and should be.

Our past leaders and Congress failed to invest to keep America No. 1. President Obama has been trying to change that to invest in areas like Clean Energy, education and retraining that are vital in America's future, and described in "Agenda for American Greatness."

China will have a brand new space station in 2020 when ours is due for retirement.

During the Great Depression, FDR made the austerity mistake in 1937. In 1936 America was clawing its way back from the Great Depression due to FDR's big investment to get people working on projects like dams, roads, bridges,  etc. But he panicked at the cost and the debt being built up, so in 1937 they decided to try to "balance the budget."  That act of austerity threw the economy back into a deep recession --which didn't end until WWII provided the government spendig stimulus that we had not done until then.The technology gains fueled our industry base and global leadership for a generation. We need to do that again.

Because now, when the weather is uncertain -- and the American and European models give different projections -- go with the European model!!! 

We will suffer the consequences of being second rate until our Congress decides to invest to make us No. 1 in all key modern technologies we need to compete globally.

I choose the America that is second to none, even when forecasting whether to wear snow shoes or duck a hurricane…

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series

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