Originally published at The Telegraph
You may not believe it, but weather forecasting is actually a rare success story in the field of prediction. Thanks in large part to the development of more sophisticated data-crunching, a seven-day forecast made today is as good as a five-day forecast made 20 years ago.
That may not sound like much – it’s only two days – but the tricky thing about weather is that even if you understand the physics at work, there are so many moving parts, interacting in such a complex manner, that after a few days the uncertainty becomes overwhelming. As the old adage goes, a butterfly flapping its wings can set in motion a chain of events which leads to a hurricane.