Do you sometimes think about playing in a golf tournament, then change your mind after looking at the 7-day weather forecast?
You might want to re-think your thinking.
In a story on Morning Read written by Indiana golf course owner and former PGA of America President Ted Bishop, he talks about weather forecasts affecting a golf course’s play numbers with meteorologist Angela Buchman (pictured left), a five-time Emmy Award-winning meteorologist at NBC’s WTHR-Channel 13 in Indianapolis.
The two big take-aways: “measurable precipitation” in a forecast can be as low as .01 inches (your hair might not even get wet!); and any forecast beyond two days out should not be used to make a go/no-go decision.
Buchman pointed out how deceptive the forecasted “percentage of precipitation” can be, even though many weather-watching viewers give great influence to it as a decision point. If a forecaster is only 50 percent sure that precipitation will occur, and if it does occur it will produce measurable rain over about 80 percent of the area, the chance of rain is touted 40 percent. (i.e. PoP equals .5 x .8 which is .4 or 40 percent.) But that “measurable” precipitation amount could be as low as .01 inches, which is just a few sprinkles for a few minutes.
Buchman says she never uses the percent-of-precipitation calculation in her forecasts and that golfers should pay little attention to the figure.
Another big piece of advice from Buchman: golfers should not to let their weekend golf plans be influenced by a seven-day forecast. She says that anything beyond two days out in a forecast “is hats off because anything can still happen.”
An excellent piece of thought journalism from Mr. Bishop (pictured right).