March 18, 2024

Should I Let AI Write My Blogs?

I spend a lot of time thinking about and writing my blogs.  

Could AI apps do the work for me?   Could any of you tell the difference?

Well, let's give them a test! First I asked Google's Gemini to write a blog in my style on the subject of the Puget Sound Convergence Zone.  Here is its attempt:


Exploring the Mysteries of the Puget Sound Convergence Zone

Welcome back, weather enthusiasts! Today, we delve into one of the most intriguing and mystifying phenomena that grace the skies of the Pacific Northwest: the Puget Sound Convergence Zone (PSCZ). Nestled in the heart of the Puget Sound region, this atmospheric feature often leaves residents scratching their heads in wonder and meteorologists pondering its intricacies.

What is the Puget Sound Convergence Zone?

Imagine a meteorological ballet, where air masses gracefully pirouette and swirl, creating a symphony of weather patterns. Such is the essence of the Puget Sound Convergence Zone. Picture a convergence of air masses, where maritime air from the Pacific Ocean collides with colder, denser air from the interior of the continent. This collision sets the stage for a spectacle of cloud formation, precipitation, and atmospheric dynamics.

The Dance of the Elements

As maritime air flows inland from the Pacific, it encounters the towering peaks of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Forced to rise, this moist air cools and condenses, giving birth to clouds and precipitation. Meanwhile, colder air masses from the east press against this maritime flow, creating a zone of convergence where the two air masses meet.

In this convergence zone, the air is forced to rise even further, intensifying cloud development and precipitation. The result? A narrow band of enhanced rainfall, stretching from the northern reaches of Puget Sound down to its southern shores. This band of precipitation can be quite localized, with areas just a few miles apart experiencing vastly different weather conditions.

The Influence of Topography

Ah, the intricacies of topography! Just as a conductor guides an orchestra, so too does the landscape orchestrate the movements of atmospheric elements. The Puget Sound Convergence Zone owes much of its existence to the unique geography of the region.

The presence of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges plays a crucial role in shaping the PSCZ. As air masses encounter these towering barriers, they are forced to ascend, setting the stage for convergence and atmospheric drama. Additionally, the complex network of valleys, fjords, and inlets further influences the behavior of the convergence zone, guiding its movements and intensifying its effects in certain areas.

Forecasting the Unpredictable

Ah, the eternal challenge of weather forecasting! While meteorologists have made great strides in understanding the Puget Sound Convergence Zone, predicting its exact behavior remains a daunting task. The narrow and transient nature of the convergence zone poses a challenge for forecasters, who must rely on a combination of observational data, computer models, and sheer intuition to anticipate its movements.

However, despite its unpredictable nature, the PSCZ has not eluded the watchful eye of science. Advances in weather modeling and observational technologies have provided new insights into the dynamics of this atmospheric phenomenon, helping forecasters better anticipate its impacts and provide timely warnings to residents.

Embracing the Mystique

In a region renowned for its diverse and dynamic weather, the Puget Sound Convergence Zone stands out as a testament to the intricate interplay of atmospheric forces. Its ever-shifting patterns and elusive nature serve as a reminder of the awe-inspiring complexity of the natural world.

So, the next time you find yourself caught in a sudden downpour or gazing up at a mesmerizing display of clouds, take a moment to appreciate the mysteries of the Puget Sound Convergence Zone. For in its swirling mists and fleeting rains, we find a glimpse of the wondrous dance of nature.

Until next time, weather aficionados, keep your eyes on the skies and your hearts open to the marvels of the atmospheric world.


Evaluation:  A lot of technical errors.  The convergence is NOT produced by ocean air hitting air from the interior.  The precipitation is NOT from the northern to the southern shores of Puget Sound.  Many more things are wrong.  My grade:  F.

Now let's try the same prompt with Google's Gemini AI app:


The Persistent Puget Sound Convergence Zone: A PNW Weather Staple

Ah, the Puget Sound Convergence Zone (PSCZ). Our moody friend that brings sunshine to some and drenches others, often within spitting distance of each other.  For those unfamiliar, the PSCZ is a band of clouds and, more importantly, precipitation that forms when prevailing winds encounter the Olympic Mountains.

Splitting Hairs (and Winds) Over the Olympics

Imagine air flowing west-to-east, like a giant river of air. The Olympic Mountains act like a giant rock in the stream, forcing the air to split around it. One branch travels north, the other south, before they come together again over Puget Sound. This "convergence" zone is where the magic (or should I say, moisture) happens.

As the air converges, it's forced upwards. Remember, as air rises, it cools. Cooler air holds less moisture, and bingo! - condensation and precipitation form. This is why you can be sipping a latte in a cozy cafe while your friend across the Sound is battling downpours.

Where's the Party? (The Rainy One, That Is)

The PSCZ isn't a stationary weather system. It tends to favor a sweet spot between Everett and north Seattle, but can meander as far south as SeaTac.  This creates a frustrating situation for forecasters (yours truly included) - predicting the exact path of this convergence zone can be a tricky business.

However, there are some clues.  North-south wind direction shifts are a dead giveaway - if you see northerly winds in Everett and southerly winds in Seattle, you know the PSCZ is probably setting up shop in between.

The Not-So-Gentle Giant

While the PSCZ is known for rain showers, it can pack a punch. Updrafts within the convergence zone can lead to thunderstorms and even heavier precipitation.  These downpours can cause localized flooding, so it's always wise to be aware of the PSCZ, especially during the fall and winter when these events are most common.

Living with the PSCZ

The PSCZ is a fact of life here in the Pacific Northwest. But hey, at least it keeps things interesting!  By understanding how it works, you can be better prepared for those sudden weather changes. Keep an eye on the forecast, especially for wind direction shifts, and you'll be one step ahead of the ever-shifting PSCZ.

Stay weather-aware, Seattle!

P.S. Got a PSCZ story? Share it in the comments below!


My Evaluation:  Not bad!  Most of the information is technically correct, FAR better than Chatgpt

Finally, sometimes I do blogs on "controversial" topics, such as the hype and exaggeration regarding climate change in local media (especially the Seattle Times).   I asked both chatgpt and Gemini their opinions of the Seattle Times ClimateLab efforts, which hopelessly hype global warming in contradiction to the best science.  Here are their answers:

I guess I better say on the job for a while...


  1. "....reflecting the scientific consensus...."

    1. But of course. 100% of scientists who agree with our narrative agree that our narrative is factually accurate.

  2. Great Blog Cliff! I will never forget back in December of 2009 when within 14 hours the convergence zone put down 34" of snow just north of Arlington. It had formed between Port Townsend and Lake Cavanaugh and stalled out overnight, and our elevation here at home is near 350 feet, was a very cool event

  3. Both are too florid. Too wordy. Cliff never uses two words when one would do.

    1. Agree. It's obvious right off the bat. Plus, Cliff's blogs have the occasional typo and these look letter perfect.

    2. Yeah, every AI has this awful scolding reddit schoolmarm HR-ditector voice--Claude and Gemini being the worst. I don't know why they thought training that was a good idea.

    3. As a teacher, I never thought I would desire typos and grammar mistakes. Now I do! "Ahh, a real person wrote that." Sigh.

  4. Mike of Snoqualmie: "Both are too florid. Too wordy. Cliff never uses two words when one would do."

    It is possible both of the AI simulation programs include a double-word feedback mechanism which doesn't actually exist inside the Cliff Mass natural thinking/writing process.

  5. NOOOOO!! Don't let AI write your blogs!

  6. Copilot: Write a five-stanza limerick on the weather impacts of the Puget Sound Convergence Zone.

    In the land of mist and gray, Where Puget’s waters sway, A convergence zone forms, With tempests and storms, Seattle’s skies dance in disarray! 🌧️

    Winds from the west converge, Over Sound’s rippling surge, They clash and they fight, In a meteorological delight, Creating a weatherly dirge! 💨

    Rain showers, thunder, and snow, In this narrow band they flow, From Everett to Seattle’s north, A tempestuous journey forth, The PSCZ puts on quite a show! ❄️⚡

    South winds blow with might, North winds join the fight, And in this convergence dance, Clouds swirl and prance, Nature’s whimsy takes flight! ☁️

    So next time you see raindrops fall, Or hear thunder’s echoing call, Remember the Puget Sound’s play, Where weather meets in disarray, And the PSCZ reigns over all! 🌦️🌬️

  7. Was it chatgpt who wrote the article? I find it intriguing that the first paragraph is saying that Gemini created the first example....:)

  8. The interesting development in AI is that some "journalism" outfits are already using it, wholesale, to write their articles.

    Readers cannot tell the difference, which pretty much says it all. The MSM is two feet deep into the tar pits, buh byee.

    1. I have read a few online articles that appeared to be AI generated. They had multiple paragraphs of background information and little substance. As AI gets more sophisticated I expect that AI generated content farms will become more difficult to identify. Hopefully the search engines will be able to identify them and exclude them from search results.

  9. If I may, asking AI for an opinion, is misunderstanding the entire concept of AI. It's also pretty clear both AI apps use different algorithms and training sets.

  10. please don't use AI. But this is an interesting exercise to read.

  11. Seems like the right thing to do is get AI to write my comment on Cliff's post. Here goes "Reply to an article about the Puget sound convergence zone by cliff mass on on the website of the Canadian Coast Guard. This is the same site that has the information about a possible Pugeta Sound Convergence Zone. I have no idea what the CGC has to do with this, but I'm going with the coast"

  12. Me thinks you need to use a lower temperature for that model.

  13. My attempt to combine the 2 chat thingy's blogs into a gracefully pirouetted and swirly shortened version.

    Ah, the Puget Sound Convergence Zone (PSCZ). Our moody friend that brings sunshine to some and drenches others in a intriguing and mystifying phenomena that grace the skies of the Pacific Northwest, air masses gracefully pirouette and swirl, creating a symphony of weather patterns caused by the intricacies of topography! Just as a conductor guides an orchestra setting the stage for convergence and atmospheric drama. Additionally, the complex network of valleys, fjords of the Olympic Mountains act like a giant rock in the stream of a giant river of air flowing west-to-east, weather aficionados, keep your eyes on the skies and your hearts open to the marvels of the atmospheric world.

  14. When chatgpt first became publicly available, i asked it to explain the PSCZ in the style of Edgar Allen Poe. It nailed the Poe style but whiffed its explanation of the PSCZ. In this exercise it struck out on both style and content.

  15. The A.I. sounds like the vacuous, gaslighting crap spewed by most of the political and managerial class that is unfit for people with critical thinking skills.

  16. All AI is is a glorified language enabled search engine, aka, text-based compiler. Boring. Totally loses character, plus, as noted, the algos push the narratives of choice based on the power brokers of the various AI. Not only does it remove critical thinking from the process and the reader's experience, but it also destroys critical thinking at many levels from the reader.

    We've had AI for a long time, just not language-based. It was called Google, which is why we are where we are. They've been stacking the deck for quite sometime. Do a google search for "Kids books" and you'll see what I mean.

  17. I wonder if you could address this unpublished study that Patagonia is promoting. They used parameters from a literature review to conclude that the four lower Snake dams generate greenhouse gases equivalent to 400,000 passenger vehicles. Since there are dozens of additional reservoirs plus large freshwater lakes in Washington, this process would quickly outrank many industrial sources of emissions or cause us to rethink our strategy of encouraging the transition to electric vehicles
    (if there are much greater potential gains from eliminating reservoirs). Several published studies (Soumis et al) have directly measured CH4 and CO2 fluxes at WA reservoirs and got much lower estimates, so what explains this difference?


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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