If you live in the Northeast, you know about the threat Hurricane Hermine posed to many areas of the Eastern Seaboard. If you live in the Northeast, you also know many of those threats did not come to fruition. As I type this it is sunny with a slight breeze, but today was supposed to be overcast and windy with 40-50 mile per hour winds with the occasional downpour, as well as a 6-9 foot storm surge. The Jersey shoreline was under a threat of extreme coastal inundation and states of emergencies was declared. The Governor of New York was prepared to use thousands of dollars worth of emergency response material to rescue people or help them on Long Island, which was forecast to get a significant storm surge event, much like New Jersey. De Blasio closed the beaches, and there were some evacuations in parts of NY and NJ. People on vacation were urged to not go to the barrier islands or risk getting stranded there, because of many of them, at most, are twenty feet above sea level.
So, what happened?
Well, Hermine didn't happen for the New York and New Jersey area, although parts of New England are flooding, and many people were somehow disappointed their home didn't relocate to the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Many forecasters called for a "wait and see" approach, but people wanted definitive answers for their Labor Day plans. That actually isn't terribly unreasonable, but Hermine is not your aunt who doesn't call you back and the meteorologists who are supposed to forecast probably don't have something against people who want to go to the beach. Moral of the story: you cannot have your cake and eat it too when the forecast you demanded is a bust.
And this brings me to the next point of the article: Insulting meteorologists is not OK. Society, keeping in fashion with every other time a weather forecast busts, took the time to do armchair righteous bullsh*t. Last time it was because the blizzard didn't happen because of sinking air. Last time it was Hurricane Irene not being "that bad" for some people. Now, it's Hurricane Hermine.
People took time out of their day to call meteorologists and weather forecasters as a whole "absolute losers", saying they "should be ashamed" and they "don't know what they're talking about". That they should "go back to school" or they purposely played on people's fears. As someone who's weather savvy, I can tell if a meteorologist or forecaster is hyping for the sake of hyping because I understand the atmospheric forces better than most. Forecasters and meteorologists like that do exist - but you cannot let the good people, the good forecasters who do genuinely hope your Labor Day barbecue with Aunt Jenny from Maine happen, who are just warning you of what they're seeing.
It is commonplace in our society to make jokes about weather forecasters. That they can be wrong and they don't get fired. But any forecasters worth their salt knows why they forecasted wrong and their way of thinking. Weather forecasting is not baseless or random.
I'd suggest you treat them with respect, and instead of yelling at them, ask them why it didn't happen - because they don't control the jet stream or the upper level low or the area of high pressure. They can't control the Madden-Julian Oscillation, or the North Atlantic Oscillation, or the El Nino Southern Oscillation. They don't control water vapor, the rain/snow line, the liquid equivalent ratio, wind shear, or dry air. If you don't know what any of that is, or how it influences weather - that's the point: It's science. It's not exact.
And odds are, you don't understand how it happened either.