July 10, 2012

Don't Kill the Messenger: Blame Mother Nature, Not the Weatherman


We are all guilty of cursing the weatherman. How many times have you skipped out the front door in your short shorts on a seemingly sunny day, only to get drenched with cold rain an hour later? Whether it’s your beloved local weather forecaster or Today Show’s Al Roker, weatherman and women are notorious for being inaccurate. But before you start sending hate mail to your local TV station, here’s a little insight as to why and how these sometimes inaccurate reports are made.

If you have to blame someone for rain on your wedding day or dry land on your ski trip, blame Mother Nature herself. Weather is unpredictable, and weather patterns can change in a moment’s notice depending on atmospheric influences and other contributing factors. Meteorologists can only take an educated guess with the help of technology; it’s called a “guess” for a reason. In fact, most weather reports emanate from the National Weather Service.

Technologies such as satellite imagery, radar, surface / air observations and computers, are used to predict weather forecasts. Satellite and radar tools help meteorologists detect weather patterns from a distance, while weather balloons collect information pertaining to temperature, wind, and moisture on all levels. Buoys, equipped with monitoring devices located in the ocean, transmit weather data like wind speed, humidity and barometric pressure. The data collected by the buoys can help track oncoming storms on coastlines.

Ever wonder how the weatherman could possibly predict the weather for the next 10 days? Although it’s not 100 percent accurate, data is entered into computer models that simulate and predict future weather forecasts.

If your still convinced that your weatherman somehow finds pleasure in the fact that you forgot your umbrella in a torrential downpour, try your own experiment. Take note of what your weatherman or weather site says the weather will be in next two days, then compare what the weather REALLY was in those days, who knows you may be surprised.

Whether you get your weather updates from your iPhone, the local news or weather.com, don’t kill the messenger! They already get a bad rap for being, well, “out there.”




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo



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