View Full Version : Weather Forecaster's bare-faced gall

3rd Feb 2015, 17:22
From yesterday until midday today, the half-hourly weather forecast on TV stated that today we'd have heavy rain in the morning and as polar air swept down this would turn to snow down to 100m or lower, as of 14:00 lasting until tomorrow morning.

Since I live at 200m altitude, this sort of information is important to me and I Took Precautions (delivered a birthday present for tomorrow, today, bought milk, fed cat extra portion of Lidl canned food).

The reality was that the rain stopped at midday, it got colder, there was no precipitation whatsoever, wind blew, roads dried completely, and just before the sun set we had half an hour of sun, although extremely cold.

I had anticipated some explanation from the same weatherman at 18:00 pm tonight, but there was no mention of their inaccuracy and the retroactive weather map they posted for this afternoon was what had actually happened, not what they had forecast. And the presentation was along the lines of "as we predicted...."

I cannot believe the sheer-faced gall & effrontery of these chaps. Do they all train at a poker school, or have they had their face muscles paralysed with regular injections of Botox. Have they no shame ?

3rd Feb 2015, 17:29

We have the same stupidity exhibited by weather forecasters here in this area of the U.S. as well.

Last week Monday we were supposed to be hammered by a blizzard. Well, SOME of the Northeast US were so hammered but we in NY were not. There were a few mea culpas but not much.

Yesterday we were supposed to be on the receiving end of "moderate snow fall". We received over a foot.

Perhaps if the weather prognosticators - as I label them - stuck their heads out the door once and a while they'd be more accurate. :}

3rd Feb 2015, 17:35
The uk mil aviators have some pretty amusing terms for them

Think my fav is weather guessers.

P6 Driver
3rd Feb 2015, 17:45
Apparently you've just learned that weather forecasting isn't a precise science.

3rd Feb 2015, 17:47
I had a friend who was a weather 'forecaster' for one of the local radio stations in CPT. 'Guessing' would be too kind a description for what he did.

With my limited aviation based knowledge of clouds, winds, and so on, I was able to 'guess' better than he could. He got paid for pretty much repeating what I'd said to him, and because I lived 'op de andere kant van de Berg' I could see what was coming down from inland as well as from the west, I often heard my own words to him repeated.

"Weather forecasting ........." he used to say to me when he, or we, got it wrong ........"is not an exact science."

I know most of us have seen it before but ......................

It was October and the Indians on a remote reservation asked their new Chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was a Chief in a modern society he had never been taught he old secrets.

When he looked at the sky he couldn't tell what the winter was going to be like.

Nevertheless, to be on the safe side he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.

But being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"

"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.

A week later he called the National Weather Service again. "Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?"

"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."

The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.

Two weeks later the Chief called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"

"Absolutely," the man replied. "It's looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters ever."

"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.

The weatherman replied, "We're sure it's going to be cold because the Indians are collecting firewood like crazy!"

victor tango
3rd Feb 2015, 18:40
Never forget going into Queens Building LHR to pick up Met docs and get a briefing from the duty meteorologist.
He was pouring over the charts and tafs/metars etc saying rain is forecast in several hours. As this was going on, rainwater from my uniform hat was dripping onto his paperwork. He said whats this, I said it,s pouring outside (met offices traditionally don't have windows, don't know why)
Bugger he said, wasn't expecting that, now I've got to change all the paperwork !

3rd Feb 2015, 18:47
Those who have lived there will know that forecasting the weather in Singapore is the easiest job in the world.

For 10 months it is sunny and humid with an occasional thunderstorm. For 2 months it is sunny and humid with a guaranteed thunderstorm.

Where's me fat cheque?

3rd Feb 2015, 19:07
Meteo France put out an orange alert yesterday for us to have snow from pm onwards today and it started to fall about 3pm. It didn't start to lie until around 5pm and we now have around 4cm.
They say it will continue overnight and tail off mid morning. Forecast accurate so far and the last time we saw snow at this level was 7th March 2010.

3rd Feb 2015, 19:14
the last time we saw snow at this level was 7th March 2010.

Jeeze, don't remind me. Driving back from Girona took 12 hours instead of 40 minutes that day.

3rd Feb 2015, 20:43
Where's me fat cheque?

No kidding, local TV weathermen/women in the US make a lot of money, some over a million dollars a year, a few even have a university degree, even fewer actually have a degree in meteorology.

Iíve always wished I could get paid that much for being wrong so much.

But, then again, as a pilot, I would have been dead a long time ago for being wrong that often.

3rd Feb 2015, 21:28
Hindsight makes everyone an expert. Or to be more accurate, hindsight makes some an insufferable besserwisser.

3rd Feb 2015, 21:40
He was pouring over the charts and tafs/metars etc

So he was right about the rain then!

3rd Feb 2015, 22:09
The duty forecaster at RAF Gutersloh once told us confidently at morning briefing that "there might be a light snow flurry today".

I was glad it was only a light flurry because when it came it lasted for 36 hours and was over three feet deep. :uhoh:

Terry Dactil
4th Feb 2015, 00:06
Their failures have been noticed elsewhere too.

4th Feb 2015, 01:27
Thanks Terry :ok:- I've been thinking for years that I'd be more convinced of catastrophic global warming decades from now if the same people could reliably tell me what next weekend was going to be like :E

Many years ago I was in Colorado visiting family for Christmas. The weather forecasters cheerfully predicted a "white Christmas" with a couple inches of snow along the front range. They missed slightly - it was a couple FEET! Basically shutdown Denver for days. To their credit the forecasters apologized profusely - they thought the system would quickly move through the area, dropping an inch or two before moving on. Instead the system basically stopped over Denver and sat there. :uhoh:

4th Feb 2015, 02:07
Well here's a weatherman who has some sense in his suggestions. "I'm not your dad, but..."

Krystal n chips
4th Feb 2015, 04:08
The number of "alerts" that get issued in the UK, on an almost daily basis, would seem to support the now established tendency for some presenters to be equally over dramatic in the their style of presentation.

Bruggen, some time ago....phoned Rhein D for a gliding forecast on the Sat...a token gesture as the cloud base was about 100ft, 30+kts and most of the North Sea being deposited on Germany.

Intrigued therefore, to receive a forecast of light to medium thermals, 3000ft base etc, all in all, a reasonable gliding day.

Repeat on Sunday, with the wx by now, if anything getting worse.

Same forecaster, same forecast.

One duly opined, that, possibly if he stuck his head out of the window, or watched Dutch TV, he may actually get a better idea, either that, or he was just a complete pillock who was clearly in the wrong job and maybe ditch digging would be more apt.

Two days later, I was inconvenienced by having to give my shoes a vague cleaning and listen to some terribly serious grown up with three rings piously lecturing me that I was never, ever, to speak to the precious little cherub at Rhein D like that, again !....he was, it seemed, mortified that a peasant had dared to question his ability....and spoken to him in a disrespectful manner !.

The grown up had clearly put some thought and effort into how he wished to impart the, erm, gravity of the situation towards myself.....which was entertaining to listen to....and completely ignored at the same time.

4th Feb 2015, 10:15
I reckon forecasting the weather was once upon a time a very stable job, maybe not paying well though. I gather most of the good forecasters are now at retirement age and their "skills" are being replaced by the same kinds of computers they use at the stock market.

It's only a recent phenomena that a million dollar company can be traded into insolvency in 15 minutes by some efficient computer trading algorithm. I guess our weather forecasting could be in for a similar roller-coaster ride if we don't "look out".

4th Feb 2015, 10:59
Fair's fair, cattletruck, with their new multi-gazillion quid supercomputer up and running, the UK guessers can now be wrong for up to 10 days in advance. :p

I know a few proper forecasters (i.e. Met Office scientists) as well as a couple of weather presenters, and while I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the forecasters (who are, after all, trying to make some sense out of a chaotic system), my breakfast tea and toast are usually better enhanced by a certain presenter's splendid warm fronts.

Any guesses?

4th Feb 2015, 11:37
Um.. first name Carol by any chance......

4th Feb 2015, 11:57
my breakfast tea and toast are usually better enhanced by a certain presenter's splendid warm fronts.
Strange, that.

A well-endowed school-friend was engaged by the local TV channel as weather presenter.

She was far from stupid, and not unattractive, but her assets were, presumably, what got her the job.

4th Feb 2015, 11:57

Carol's OK but there's better out there.

4th Feb 2015, 12:33

Gee, thanks for that. I got to your post and then spat my coffee all over the place.

And the one on the bottom in front of the map of Texas? She can forecast my weather any time. :}

4th Feb 2015, 12:41
Ah, yes the very lovely Carol Kirkwood (definitely not Vorderman). Who wouldn't want to take her breakfast in bed (but preferably not at 4 a.m. or thereabouts, when she must get woken up for work).

4th Feb 2015, 13:21
The number of "alerts" that get issued in the UK, on an almost daily basis, would seem to support the now established tendency for some presenters to be equally over dramatic in the their style of presentation.

I have a theory that (UK) forecasters have a fear of litigation if they underestimate a "threat".

Better to forecast a blizzard which doesn't appear than to miss the 10% prob and get sued by some plonker who crashed in the snow.

Suing is many people's reaction now to what old buggers (comme moi) would just say "Sh!t happens ........"

Krystal n chips
10th Feb 2015, 05:14
And, today's offering........"Severe Weather Alert !!!!!!"


Weather and climate change - Met Office (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/)

Coming soon.....Red Alert !.....temp +17C. No precipitation. Wind less than 5kts.

10th Feb 2015, 09:56
In my first few years in Catalunia the weather forecasters on TV had been told to always forecast fine weather as otherwise it would put off tourists (who were already here watching the news, but never mind...) This was announced as a huge scandal sometime before the turn of the century, so now they don't. However the teletext weather forecast on TV-3 hasn't been updated since October 2014 - so it is always wrong.

10th Feb 2015, 10:02
Cape, I just did a quick search for Mayte Carranco. Mmmmmmmm.

10th Feb 2015, 10:16
After a particularly fraught day on the hills, contrary to the forecast needless to say, I suggested to a Meteorologist that payment by results/accuracy might be a good idea.
His reply?
"No one would take the job on those terms!"
Tells you everyhing you need to know.

10th Feb 2015, 10:32
As one smart politician responded to a weatherman boasting that 46% of weather forecasts were accurate during World War 2 'So that means your forecasts were 54% wrong'

10th Feb 2015, 11:20
I read somewhere that if you forecast that the weather tomorrow will be the much the same as today you will be 70% right.

10th Feb 2015, 11:50
Quite a number of years ago, the local Bureau of Meteorology came out with their proud brag - that their daily forecasts had achieved a pleasing (to them) accuracy level of 48% correct.

The Bureau's collective faces soon gathered a layer of egg, when someone pointed out; that if the Bureau had totally reversed their daily forecast (i.e., forecast rain when they stated "sunny", and forecast "sunny" when they predicted rain) - then they could have proudly achieved an accuracy level of 52%!! :)

10th Feb 2015, 13:24
MagnusP wrote:

Cape, I just did a quick search for Mayte Carranco. Mmmmmmmm.

I did a search too. Holy mackerel! I wonder how much I can get for my first-born on the open market? (Oh. He's in the US Navy now. Okay, how about my 2nd born then?)

10th Feb 2015, 13:26
Sunday evening the weather prognosticators in my area forecast 2-4" of the white fluffy stuff. (For the 3rd Monday in a row, thank you very much.)

I got 8" of snow on top of the already existing 2'. :{

10th Feb 2015, 14:22
rgb, when I looked at her piccies, my "eyebrows" rose :E and that's with safesearch active. A bonny lass, indeed.

10th Feb 2015, 14:26

Only your eyebrows rose with safesearch on? Perhaps if you turned safesearch off...... :}

10th Feb 2015, 14:40
I'm sayin' nuffin.

10th Feb 2015, 14:57
Hey Magnus, guess what? FEDEX just now delivered a package to my house. (I'm not there but at work. I get the notifications though.)

Guess what's in said package?

My new Fender American Vintage '56 Strat. Can't wait to leave work today!


10th Feb 2015, 20:57
BBC1 Program "Countryfile" Sunday 1st Feb, the weeks weather forecast clearly showed a HighPressure area under the jetstream with the circulation animated in an anti-clockwise direction. (Northern Hemisphere rules?)

Feb 8th edition showed High roughly same location but with clockwise rotation.

Someone in BBC Met empire must have noticed and read their copy of AP3307 and hoped nobody noticed the previous weeks howler!

I really must try and get out more, but it's brass monkey weather oop here near 55N......:)..

Pinky the pilot
11th Feb 2015, 00:49
And here in Waikerie South Australia it is just past 12.15pm and 45C outside!:eek:

Rather this than where you are rgbrock1!:E

11th Feb 2015, 02:44
The Weather Channel has had a hard time getting the temperature for Valdez, Alaska within 10 degrees all winter. Sky condition and precip are close enough, but their temperature model is completely out to lunch, every single day for months now. Funny thing is, if you google the current weather there, it shows you both the current temp and the day's forcasted temps below, with no similarity between the two. Don't know if Isis has hacked their computer, or if they're working off historical data that has been 'adjusted' by the pro/con global warming types.

11th Feb 2015, 09:34
rgb, a shiny new '56 and you actually WENT to work? That's dedication.

Was only ever a strat player for a few months, but I admit they sound great. Next target for me is a Nashville Tele. If I could find a '96 with the B-bender, I'd probably sell a kidney to get my paws on it.

In a pathetic and doomed attempt to stay vaguely on-topic, let me say that Carol looked quite alluring this morning while passing on her guesses.

11th Feb 2015, 09:39
Don't know if Isis has hacked their computer, or if they're working off historical data that has been 'adjusted' by the pro/con global warming types.

Naah, it's easier to just play last years tape.

(Didn't some TV producer do the same with the Israeli lottery draw and all his numbers came up).

11th Feb 2015, 11:59
Pinky wrote:

And here in Waikerie South Australia it is just past 12.15pm and 45C outside!

Rather this than where you are rgbrock1!

Yeah sure, go ahead and rub it in.

Here in lower NY State it is just going on 08:00 and 17F/-8C. Which is relatively warm considering the past week or so.

However, we have some mysterious "colder" weather coming out of.... ta da... O' Canada this coming weekend. Saturday's daytime high should be right around -10C.

My balls shriveled wring that number.

Random SLF
11th Feb 2015, 12:04
"I do think that, of all the silly, irritating tomfoolishness by which we are plagued, this “weather-forecast” fraud is about the most aggravating. It “forecasts” precisely what happened yesterday or the day before, and precisely the opposite of what is going to happen to-day."

Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men In A Boat, 1889