Insulting Meteorologists Is Not OK

Insulting Meteorologists Is Not OK

If you know what's going to happen, why don't you forecast it?
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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.



Cover Image Credit: noaa.gov

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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