Does location affect forecast?

Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
338
Location
Central Oklahoma
I couldn't help but notice that many of the Target Area posts are biased toward that particular chaser's area. I won't post an example, as just by reading through many of the threads you can see what I mean.

So I'm throwing this out for comment: how much of the forecast that you post in TA is biased toward where you'll be chasing and how much is based on where you feel the best action really is? In other words, if you can only chase central Kansas on a given day, how does this affect your TA forecast for that day? Are you honest with yourself on where the best chase action will be, or do you try to convince yourself that it will be central Kansas and post a forecast with the objective of convincing yourself of that?
 
It's so biased it's almost comical.

I go where I think the best chance for tornadoes will be, as far as my wallet will take me. If I've got the ways/means, there's no distance I won't travel for a tornado opportunity. When the only thing that stops a person from chasing is "I don't wanna drive that far," IMO that ain't a chaser.
 
It's a well-known fact that a chaser's area of interest will be strongly biased towards the area they live in and/or can travel to with ease. It can get pretty funny sometimes.

A large deciding factor this year will be money spent in gas by the looks of things. However - I also strongly dislike long drives - and therefore that also tempers my opinions somewhat. I don't enjoy arriving at a location totally wiped out because I've just spent 10 hours cooped up in a tin can.

You don't, IMO, need to enjoy day-long road-trips to be a "real" chaser.

KR
 
It's so biased it's almost comical.

I go where I think the best chance for tornadoes will be, as far as my wallet will take me. If I've got the ways/means, there's no distance I won't travel for a tornado opportunity. When the only thing that stops a person from chasing is "I don't wanna drive that far," IMO that ain't a chaser.

I agree to a point. I, being a poor college student, can only afford so many LONG hauls. My last chase took me from Lawrence Kansas at 4am to Paris Texas, and back in one day, for one tornado.

I have no problem doing that, but I can only do it so many times, that and having a manual labor job, getting home at 4am, then going to work at 8am the next morning doesn't work either...lol
 
I have no problem doing that, but I can only do it so many times, that and having a manual labor job, getting home at 4am, then going to work at 8am the next morning doesn't work either...lol
I agree. The demands of school/work/family can be a limiting factor on your chaseable range. I've only chased west of the Mississippi once (and to IA of all places) because I generally can't get away long enough to chase the plains. Would I if i could? Absolutely. Notice that that is what Shane is saying...if the only reason you don't chase is because you just don't want to put up with the drive, then I agree...you're not a real chaser. I do agree with Karen, too...it is natural to bias your forecasts toward your favored area. Especially given the choice between a 1 hour drive to the target area and a 10 hour drive.


Ben

Edited 5:08 EST 4/8/05 to fix formatting mistake.
 
It's so biased it's almost comical.

I go where I think the best chance for tornadoes will be, as far as my wallet will take me. If I've got the ways/means, there's no distance I won't travel for a tornado opportunity. When the only thing that stops a person from chasing is "I don't wanna drive that far," IMO that ain't a chaser.

I also agree to this to a point, like Travis indicated. I'm raising a newborn in about 2-3 weeks and that will limit my chasing opportunities, and I will do my best to balance family and chasing together so I can still do long range chases and raise Samara.

I am just about biased to an area that I can reach within one day's of driving. I know more about chasing in Kansas than I do about chasing in the Carolinas or somewhere like that, so the bias is there. That and we would usually know how storms would move through our own areas compared to that of some region we don't live in. It's all natural.
 
RE: are target area forecasts biased?

When I post a target area forecast, the only bias I have as far as target location is that it has to be in a general area where *anyone* would reasonable want to chase. I will generally stay east of the Rockies and west of the Mississippi with my targets, although I will make exceptions. As an example, suppose there is a fast-moving cold front sweeping through the northeastern states that will produce hundreds of hail and wind reports in Pennsylvania (lots of hills and trees), while a dryline in the Texas panhandle will produce isolated supercells in that area. I would consider Texas a viable chase target and discount Pennsylvania in this case. I make no bias relative to my location (Iowa), or where I am planning to chase on a particular day.

- bill
 
Sure, the location decisions of most folks are biased by their location or "favorite place to be." For me, I might concentrate more on North Texas than eastern Oklahoma (for example) because I have much more experience with NTX.

Folks like me look much harder at the weather situation/setup in our favored area, possibly downplaying or accidentally even ignoring a possibly better setup 500 miles away.

There's nothing with this bias, though! The beauty of having ST to share our forecasts is that we weigh each others' biases to create a bit of a composite forecast!!! 8)
 
Here's an example from the upcoming event that shows what I'm talking about. This is from Chris Sanner (by the way, I am not criticizing anyone. I am just raising the issue):

Right now, being located in Southern Oklahoma, I am planning on playing the dryline along the Red River as Jeff S mentioned earlier. I really think that if we get some discrete activity that the best best for stronger tornadoes will be along the Red River. Right now, if gas was not so high, I would probably be contemplating the more likely spot well to my NW, but alas, gas is high and I'd only have to walk 50 feet to my target area outside of my back door right now, so I'm sticking with S. Oklahoma.

Chris says that with discrete activity the best strong tornado potential is along the Red River. That's near where he lives. But just a few seconds later, he admits that the better spot is quite a ways NW of him.

My point is that in terms of an accurate forecast, regional bias may be limiting some forcasts. It's just something to consider when forcasting. Are you being honest with yourself and readers when you say the bast chances are near you? Again, this is not an attack on anyone (it's not an attack at all), as many people seem to forecast this way.

I'm not saying it's wrong to be biased in your chase decision, but shouldn't a forecast be as fair as possible?
 
Sure, the location decisions of most folks are biased by their location or "favorite place to be." For me, I might concentrate more on North Texas than eastern Oklahoma (for example) because I have much more experience with NTX.

Folks like me look much harder at the weather situation/setup in our favored area, possibly downplaying or accidentally even ignoring a possibly better setup 500 miles away.

There's nothing with this bias, though! The beauty of having ST to share our forecasts is that we weigh each others' biases to create a bit of a composite forecast!!! 8)

I totally agree with you! Thats why I come to this forum, To see all the different forecasts and to share my own. I cannot find in the forum rules that you have to post a forecast that is national in scope or even regional. I choose not to do my own national or regional forecast because I am fairly new at doing my own forecast. I do forecasts on where I plan on chasing or my area of intrest. I do not believe that I should HAVE to do a forecast for a area that I do not plan to chase in or a area I have no intrest for.
 
When the only thing that stops a person from chasing is "I don't wanna drive that far," IMO that ain't a chaser.

Would you drive to SD from OK for a marginal severe risk? I wouldn't. Now on the other hand if it looks like armageddon... then I might take the chance.

In that respect, I would think chasers wouldn't try and be bias. If it really does look like a good setup... Why in hell wouldn't you drive the extra distance (money aside) to get it.

Aaron
 
I'm still pretty bad at forcasting, and as such, I keep mine to myself since they're.....not right...lol, But I see where you're coming from though. Everyone wants to make homebase look primo, but 90% of the time, just wishful thinking...that being said, I'm holding high hopes for sunday/monday.
 
Originally posted by Aaron Kennedy
When the only thing that stops a person from chasing is \"I don't wanna drive that far,\" IMO that ain't a chaser.

Would you drive to SD from OK for a marginal severe risk? I wouldn't. Now on the other hand if it looks like armageddon... then I might take the chance.

In that respect, I would think chasers wouldn't try and be bias. If it really does look like a good setup... Why in hell wouldn't you drive the extra distance (money aside) to get it.

Aaron

I agree Aaron.
I only chase local, and sporadically at that. Does that make one less a chaser? No. I am a little envious of those whom can take off and chase at a moment's notice and rack up the mileage. I don't have that luxury in my life right now. Please post your chases though, so I can relive them with you! :wink:

And yes, I am a homer for severe in my area. I would think most chasers would be. It is familiar ground!
 
When a time leash or financial leash is an issue, I typically tend to phase out where I cannot go. I've never really used the excuse, "I don't want to drive that far", cause God knows I have before. Obviously, there are places I'd rather not go (forests and hills of eastern OK, etc), but all-in-all, I will typically go wherever I can.

So yeah, aside from a money or time leash, I typically go where the best chance is. If a leash is on my neck for a specific chase, then I will typically forecast within a circle and pick the best in that circle.
 
I think most everyone has missed the point of the discussion. See my last post above. Specifically, how does your regional bias affect (and should it affect) your forecast post in TA?
 
I'm not regionally biased in the least about tomorrow's probs...because the action is centered around my region! :p

Actually, I believe that there is a certain amount of regional bias to my TA posts...mostly because if I can't head in a particular direction, I probably won't forecast for it (unless it looks like a real doozy).

Tomorrow, though, I can honestly say that (IMO) the best chance of significant, chaseable tornadoes will be in N TX. Central Oklahoma is under a moderate, too, but I'd rather drive and see a tornado than sit at home and see a squall line.

Gabe
 
Originally posted by Aaron Kennedy

Would you drive to SD from OK for a marginal severe risk? I wouldn't.

If I thought there was a good chance to see tornadoes, of course. Done it before (and missed it all by 45 minutes.) Point being, when someone ignores an event only because they don't want to drive, that IMO isn't a chaser. If they don't think the set-up is worth the drive, that's a whole other ball of wax.
 
Originally posted by Bryce Stone
I think most everyone has missed the point of the discussion. See my last post above. Specifically, how does your regional bias affect (and should it affect) your forecast post in TA?

Doesn't affect them at all. I look for where the bst tornado potential will be, period. Whether or not it's close to me is of no consequence.

Why should anything effect a forecast other than observational data and models? You can focus on your area of choice if you're limited to or biased to a given spot, but that doesn't change the weather. I will never tell myself western OK looks better when I know S Nebraska is the place to be. You'd be a fool to do that IMO.

Example: Right now WC KS and N TX look better than anywhere in OK for tomorrow. Sad, but true.

Choosing the closer target is often times a decision made out of neccesity, but there's no reason to pretend that's the best place to be when it's really not. This is turning into psych 101 :lol:
 
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