After the passage of one more cool, almost-winter-like-storm system Friday night, it looks like the weather will settle into a more docile pattern for the rest of the weekend. Temperatures on Saturday will drop nearly ten degrees to around 60 in Reno, with some early morning showers giving way to a dry but breezy afternoon. Temperatures will regain their lost ground on Sunday and then climb into the low to mid-70s by Monday and Tuesday.

weather balloons

More on computer weather models: Once you input all the data from weather balloons and other sources, the computer then compares with data from previous data sets and cranks out projections of what the atmosphere will look like at various levels and at various times in the future. It is then up to the meteorologist to interpret these “models” correctly, in conjunction with satellite pictures and other observations, and then make a prediction of what the weather will be. If the prediction is correct, then it is the result of a skillful handling of these tools at our disposal. If it is wrong, then refer to the comment above about placing the blame.

computer modle

Actually, our ability to forecast has really improved with the creation of these models, but it will never be perfect. There is only so much information you can input to any model, and small changes here and there become big changes on down the line. The old saying, “If a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo, it will affect the weather in New York” has some truth to it, in principal, if not in practice. So the next time a forecast is slightly at odds with reality, and you wake up with six inches of “partly cloudy” on your driveway, do what I do. Blame the computer model.

Or else the Japanese butterflies.