The TV meteorologists I used to work with were not always comfortable with the ads we would run.
There was always a bit of squirming when they’d look at the scripts which promised them to have the most accurate and reliable forecast. No, technically we didn’t promise infallibility, but it was strongly suggested that they would be right.
So, you ask, why don’t meteorologists just tell us that the forecast is subject to a degree of unpredictability? Well, they do a little — but their bosses discourage that sort of talk from those standing in front of the green wall — and far more people see the weather promos that promise accuracy than ever actually see the weather.
Maybe more honest marketing is the answer?
Curious about what the weather might be? Turn to Joe meteorologist!
He’s been bringing you the weather longer than anyone, so he knows how many different things can go wrong with the forecast.
Count on Joe to tell you if it might snow… when it could possibly start.. and how much you may get — unless a butterfly flaps its wings in Bermuda, and then we’ll be pummeled. Or have a dusting. Nobody knows!
Hmmm. Maybe not.
Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service, spoke about the forecast for this week’s winter storm, and said, “We recognize the need to work harder and smarter to produce better forecasts and to better communicate forecast uncertainty and manage expectations.”
I’m not sure how to get better forecasts, but the second part? That’s something they can start on right away.