Survival Strategies: weather or not

Posted: 16/07/2009 in safety, survival, weather
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the biggest issues we need to be aware of, and involved in, is the weather. It rains and shines upon everyone at some point and time, and eventually, you will suffer a deluge, a hurricane or some other form of weather catastrophe. Sometimes, such as with tornadoes, the catastrophe cannot be avoided and we must ride the storm out as best we can. Other times, such as in a hurricane we can sometimes have many days warning of its coming.

The question of whether to evacuate or not is left to the moment, and frequently is up to the government. This doesn’t mean we have to like it, and it also doesn’t mean that we should stay put if they don’t tell us to leave. Remember, the same people who contracted to have formaldehyde laced trailers for the victims of Katrina are the same boneheads that make the decision for you to bug out. Not a real reassuring voice in the wilderness in my book.

In order to form a qualified decision as to whether to stay or go, we need to be fully cognizant of the approaching weather and storm fronts. This is actually easier done than said. There are many websites and news providers that can give you a detailed sit rep on the coming storm(s). (sit rep is situation report) The Weather Channel, Weather Underground, NOAA and most of the major news services and networks have real time data that they love to present to the public. Especially the networks. Of course, they may not be telling you the whole truth, so make sure you counter check all of the data being fed to you to verify the accuracy and legitimacy of those reports. Form my own experience, Weather Underground actuall has the best, and most complete weather forecasting tools and data I have come across.

I usually double check with the CRWS system at the San Francisco State University ( and the NOAA weather advisory sites. They’re usually right on the money with their forecasts. The Weather Channel, Accuweather and some others are OK, but I’ve seen some forecasting that were more guess than scientific probability. That’s what forecasting should really be all about, I think. Probability.

But if you take the time to learn what all of those symbols numbers and arrows mean, you can do a pretty good job of guessing the probabilities on your own. And when you are good enough, you’ll be in a position to make that decision to bug out on your own. If you are fast enough, you can beat the crowds and not be seen on the six thirty news sitting on a stalled interstate with half a million stranded motorists, with a wall of water bearing down on the highway. Survival isn’t about being a man and sticking it out. Survival is about being alive tomorrow.

Let’s look at some of the sources you can use to begin to learn how to track the weather.

  1. Weather Underground; This is my favored site. You can get a home page set up with your zip code, and you’ll get all of the information the TV providers have. You’ll have to learn how to navigate around the site to gain the most benefit, but it doesn’t take long. Near the top is a menu board with topics ranging from tornadoes to travel. If it’s weather related you’ll find it here.
  2. The CRWS Jet Stream Menu; Provided by the University of San Francisco, this site gives you some pretty clear idea of what’s coming down the road. The jet streams have a lot more to do with the weather than most people, even some meteorologists think. By paying attention to the activity on this page you’ll be able to discern general driving weather patterns as controlled by the flow of these high altitude winds.
  3. NOAA weather site; This site gives you a comprehensive analysis based upon the governments vast array of satellites, radars and monitoring stations. It’s the place everyone else goes to for the details. This site tends to stick to short term forecasts and just the facts.
  4. Accuweather; Heavily monetized commercial site. This is one of the services the TV and radio networks use to provide you with forecasts. Tends to be a bit on the glitzy side for me, but you can get down to your local forecast by submitting your zip code in the search engine.
  5. Intellicast; This site is also a commercial service used by the broadcast industry, but is much better than some of the other commercial sites. Gives more details and stats in a less glitzy fashion.
  6. The Weather Channel; This site has their own cable news station. Minimal information given, and more heavily monetized than the other sites. Another drawback, in my opinion is their devotion to pushing the fraudulent global warming campaign. But that’s not surprising since they are owned by NBC.

This is just a short list. There are others, and maybe some that I haven’t seen that are better. If you know of one, feel free to email me with the source. I’m always willing to learn.

There are also lots of symbols and figures, as well as terms that you should learn as well. Go to the local library and pick up a couple of books on the subject and see what you can learn. Remember what I said a while ago in another post. Surviving time is no time to begin to learn.

In fact, your local library can be a gold mine of survival strategies, no matter the issue. Whether you are looking t the financial aspects of a recession, or running like you know what from a typhoon, you can learn more about what to do. But becoming weather wise isn’t just for emergencies. The skills you learn about the weather can help you plan for a more enjoyable vacation, or even your activities for just a day off. Farmers rely on their weather skills to work their farms to the best advantage. There are lots of reasons to learn about the weather.

But if you do learn to become weather wise, should the lights go out and there no longer is a news source or an internet to look up the forecast, you’ll be able to come pretty close to planning ahead just by what the sky tells you.


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