“There they go again” as the late President Reagan might have said.
Weather forecasters were doing their best throughout this past weekend to whip up a frenzy over a fast-approaching nor’easter that, they warned, would dump between four and eight inches of wet snow on Gotham.
Regular programming was interrupted as the intrepid forecasters screamed about the approaching holocaust. Supermarkets were jammed as wary shoppers stocked up on essentials necessary to ride out the storm. And, some grammar schools were already projecting two- to three-hour delayed starts Monday morning.
So, what happened? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. A little rain in the metropolitan fell in our area and there were a few sheepish ‘ah shucks’ grins on the faces of the TV weather folks this morning.
What a travesty. What other profession could get away with such a poor record? Imagine the lawsuits that would fly if, say, the average plumber, carpenter or technician was wrong 50 percent of the time? Or, if good old NJ Transit (my personal bete noir) boasted a 50 percent on-time arrival rate? Even lawyers, airlines and used car salesmen do a better job than weather forecasters. And, yet, these charlatans have become media icons.
Something’s amiss with a society that not only looks the other way at continuous incompetence, but actually rewards it. I’d suggest some solutions, but what if I’m wrong?
I couldn’t agree with you more.
Not that I profess to be an expert on this stuff, but most meteorologists – especially ones from the local stations – pull most forecasts from NOAA’s National Weather Service. That is why most of them stink consistently.
Most importantly, perhaps, is how the news outlets treat the threat of inclement weather. Like everything else they cover, it’s to the extreme with as much hype as possible. Ditto with coverage of sports, business and entertainment, but with weather being the most watched portion of a local newscast, especially in advance of a storm, expect the news producers to leverage it to the fullest extent possible every single time.
great blog- i was thinking the exact same thing. the simple fact is this- these guys just take a guess and hope they are close…the part i dont understand is why every news station has several “forecasters” on staff. why do we need 20 people telling us the same thing that is wrong. there should be 1 local forecaster and it should be syndicated all over…and if he/she is wrong, on to the next one..