Meteorologists really get a lot of flack, don’t you think?
In my opinion, they seem to do a pretty good job of predicting the weather and letting us know what we’ll be up against in the near future.
But still…people really do give them a hard time.
Do you think meteorologists are actually pretty at their jobs and right most of the time?
AskReddit users shared their thoughts.
1. Doing just fine.
“I am so tired of the “Weather man gets it wrong again” trope.
I’m sorry, did it sprinkle when they said it would merely be a cloudy day? Did it only snow 4 inches when they predicted 8? Was it 80 and sunny instead of 65 and partly cloudy? People always complain and talk about how bad they are at their jobs when they get a forecast wrong but ignore the fact that they almost always get it right!
These people make forecasts weeks in advance and can tell you if the week will be sunny or rainy or cloudy or snowy or humid or cold and you can usually count on that general forecast. When you flip on the TV and they say “Today it is going to rain 100%”, it is going to rain! If they say “Today is going to rain 40%” and it doesn’t rain, that doesn’t mean they were wrong. Just means it MIGHT rain.
Meteorologists do one of the most impressive jobs humans have learned how to do and they deserve credit for that. All I hear is Karen talking s**t when its slightly colder than they predicted a week ago.”
2. Right on the money.
“A local station did a contest for a month based on the accuracy of the temp forecast.
They set a plus/minus of two degrees and every degree past that they’d donate some money to a local charity.
Those poor cancer kids never saw a dime because they were right on the money pretty much throughout the whole month.”
3. Pretty good.
“Meteorologist do pretty good for the most part. I find their weather prediction hit and miss for long term forecast in my area. We also have a lot of mountains around us and a large lake to the south. These terrain features make the weather harder to predict than say a flat area.
I have seen the 5 day forecast flip from sunny to raining to snowy and back to sunny then overcast all within 24 hours.
It’s also hard since they predict the weather valley wide, but the east side of the valley gets 5-10x as much precipitation as the west side does. So their “20% chance if rain for the area” might mean those at the east side of the valley get rained on all day long and those in the west get sun shine.
This is due to the prevailing winds of the area and clouds dumping their moister to go over the Rocky Mountains.
For the most part this isn’t an issue as any long term resident had just learned to plan for screwy weather around the valley, especially in the spring and the fall. Where it does become an issue is farmers trying to decide if it’s safe to cut their hay yet or not. For those that don’t know, after hay is cut and still laying loose on the field, if it’s rained on that is bad.
So there is a lot of staring at the sky and questioning the “weather guessers” wondering if it’s safe to cut the hay in late June or if we have a snow storm lurking over the horizon.”
4. Good to know.
“Two things that I learned in my community college meteorology class:
10-day forecasts are complete educated guesses and not actual predictions. (I think there’s only true accuracy up to like 3 or 4 days)
The National Weather Service (in the U.S.) does most of the forecasting for the whole country and local meteorologists make it more specific for the region or area they work in.”
5. That’s an improvement.
“Meteorology is pretty accurate to 5 days in most areas. Back in the 70s it was only 2 days.
There are certainly millions of factors, but its definitely better than just a day.”
“Actual meteorologists deserve a lot of credit.
But that’s different than the lady on the TV with pretty hair who tells you that it’s going to rain–most of the predicting is done by NWS/NOAA.”
7. They just want to complain.
“I feel like people generally complain about it to make small talk, instead of them actually thinking that these people don’t do their jobs well.
Bob might say apples from Pink Lady are disgusting, but Bob might actually think that apples from Pink Lady are slightly less quality.”
“Depends on the area.
Places near mountains like Denver are near impossible to predict with the weather changing so rapidly and sometimes going from 80 degrees to 30 degrees in a few hours.”
9. Only remember the bad stuff.
“Nobody remembers the vast majority of the time when they get it right.
The same people that also don’t understand that the weatherman is just a conduit for information.
The technology tells him what to say and occasionally it’s not good enough to predict the weather accurately. He’s not a sports analyst .”
10. What’s the timeline?
“Predicting the weather less than 24 hours in advance is not difficult at all. Predicting it a week in advance is remarkably difficult. That’s why you should compare their forecasts from a week ago with their forecasts the evening before.
You’ll discover that their week old forecasts are often laughably wrong. You’ll also discover that they update their forecast at least daily, each time getting a little closer to what the weather will actually be like.
Weather is the result of a number of very complex systems interacting in ways that often include completely random behavior. I don’t bash weather forecasters for getting it wrong as often as they do. They’re doing the best they can with the tools they have.
My problem is with people who claim they’re doing a great job at something that’s nearly impossible to do with a high degree of accuracy. They’re only slightly better than sports book oddsmakers.”
11. Fired up.
“Anyone who doesn’t know this is a best guess job is an idiot. They don’t f**king know if it’s gonna rain they are making a prediction based on limited data and conditions.
This whole ‘lets complain about everything’ mentality is unbearable and pathetic. S**t happens. Weathermen get s**t wrong. That’s my hot take.”
12. Who’s to blame?
“The weatherman actually does nothing for their job. The weather is piped in from the national weather service.
We have centralized weather prediction in the United States.
So I guess we should really start saying, the government gets the weather prediction wrong.”
Do you think meteorologists usually do a good job?
Talk to us in the comments and let us know.
Thanks a lot!