The Weather Network PointCast system (Screenshot courtesy The Weather Network)The weather forecast called for sunny skies, but you got drenched by rain on your lunch break. You had to dig your car out of a snowbank one morning, but the weather forecast from the night before made no mention of snow. You planned a great family day at the park, but had to run for cover when thunderstorms that no forecast had mentioned came rolling through the area. I'm sure that these probably sound familiar. You've likely said one of these yourself, or at least something similar, or you've heard someone say something similar. You may even have worse accounts of how the forecast let you down.
Well, as of Monday, The Weather Network released their new PointCast system, which will give you up-to-date forecasts for as close as 1 km from your current location. It can be accessed from The Weather Network website by clicking on the light-blue PointCast banner, or if you are using either their smartphone or tablet applications, you should already be using the PointCast system.
"The breakthrough is a quantum-leap enhancement in providing relevant and accurate weather information for Canadians," said Pierre Morrissette, chief executive officer for The Weather Network, according to The Globe and Mail. "If I'm at home I'll have the weather for where I live, but I can also find out the weather at work. In many cities, you can see quite a difference."
According to The Weather Network website, "PointCasts are generated by using a combination of data inputs from global weather agencies as elements into our proprietary Pelmorex Forecast Engine (PFE). The PFE runs weather simulations and forecast models down to 1km. Our team of 40 meteorologists then refines and uses this data to create our localized PointCasts. By using exclusive technology built by the teams here at The Weather Network, we can provide a scientific forecast as close as 1km for where you are just by identifying your postal code are or using your GPS to locate."
This new system won't replace weather forecasters, of course, because their knowledge and experience will always be needed to fill in the gaps left by the computer models. This won't be the end of incorrect weather forecasts either, because the system still depends on the limits of how much information we can get from the atmosphere and how much information the computer models can process and still give us timely forecasts. However, for anyone who needs accurate local conditions, to know the temperature, wind direction and speed, or where any rain or snowfall is, this system is an incredible boon.