a little more on #escaype forecasts
Hi everyone! We're back with a couple words on how our forecasts and service works, what we are and are not, etc. Because we're growing rapidly, we need to make sure everyone's on the same page about what kinds of questions we can and cannot answer, and when.
note that the examples given below are all hypothetical; they don't relate to anything that's happening right now.
HOW THE ESCAYPE FORECASTS WORK
This is how things usually go on the back end (which you don't see):
1) We look at the long-range models and identify the days that seem to have potential for anything photogenic (high potential sunrises and sunsets, low fog, storms, etc). At this point, we are not yet able to forecast the specifics of these events with high confidence. For example, we could tell you that if low fog is going to happen this week, it would likely be on Saturday. We could tell you that we're seeing a bunch of mid-level clouds coming through on Sunday and Monday with a lot of potential. We can't tell you if they're going to burn with any kind of confidence, though. And we can't tell you that Santa Cruz is going to have an epic sunrise four days from now.
2) When events of interest appear on our official next-three-events radar, we begin to track them in much more detail. This is when we can start to tell you if that sunset is expected to burn, if there looks like a good chance for low fog, and things like that. However, at this point, we are not yet able to forecast exactly where, down to the mile, the best conditions will be. For example, we could tell you that we're seeing a big burn very likely in much of the bay area, with the best clouds south of SF, but we can't tell you with any kind of confidence that Davenport will be better than Santa Cruz.
3) On the day of the event (or late night preceding a sunrise), that's when we can start to hammer out exactly where it looks like the best conditions will be. This will usually be a region of the forecast area; for example, inland areas and the east bay, the central valley, north of SF, santa cruz and south. Our confidence levels will vary depending on the cloud formation, dynamics, etc, and we try to be as transparent as possible about what we do and don't know.
This is how things usually go on the front end (which you see):
1) A couple days ahead, we'll begin to share general ideas of what's coming our way in the next few days in the forecaster's note and the groups. We really can't tell you much detail or answer specific questions, so don't ask us if the sunset will be epic in Davenport four days out -- we really don't know, though we can tell you that there will be a lot of potential in the area.
2) When events start appearing on our official Escaype next-three-event radar, you'll hear us begin to say more specific things like "there will be fog hugging the coast north of pigeon point" and "a big burn is likely tomorrow, but it is going to be much better inland than at the coast". We still can't tell you if it'll be the perfect day for Marshall's Beach facing northeast towards the golden gate, or if you should go to Twin Peaks instead (so don't ask us). But we can tell you, for example, that north looks better than south, inland looks better than coast.
3) As the event nears (within 6-12 hours), that's when we can begin to give out more specific information. We can tell you that SF is fogged in but Pacifica is expected to stay clear, or that Santa Cruz is expected to skunk, Pescadero will probably be a partial burn, and you really want to be north of Half Moon Bay for the good stuff.
Remember, we spend a lot of time maintaining the forecaster's note and alerts group for you all, so if you have a question about what's coming, make sure it isn't already answered there. We love interacting with you all and answering your questions, but if we get asked the same things over and over again, it begins to take away time that we could be using to improve Escaype.
WHAT ESCAYPE IS
we are a comprehensive weather service for photographers.
we give you the information you need to make your own decision (or decide as a group) if and/or where you should shoot.
WHAT ESCAYPE IS NOT
we are not a tour guide for the bay area. meaning, we're not here to tell you what there is to shoot in the east bay. (you can discuss that in your group, though.)
we try to refrain from giving you specific locations and comps to shoot a given event; instead, we'll tell you where the good light is, and you get to put that together with your own (and your group's!) knowledge to find a great composition.