Insulting Meteorologists Is Not OK

Insulting Meteorologists Is Not OK

If you know what's going to happen, why don't you forecast it?
Jessica
Jessica
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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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
48712
views

Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

rahma
rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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