“Looking to the weekend, you should anticipate ‘deeeez nuts’.”
Why do weather people draw such ire? Is it their perfect hair? Their white teeth? Their supple, lithe bodies(no homo)? Whatever the REAL reason, it’s pretty clear meteorologists serve as society’s whipping boy any time a forecast doesn’t prove totally accurate. The impetus for this posting comes from a long history of personal observations as well as some cursory research:
Here’s a clip from the movie The Weather Man:
Here’s a fellow blogger unhappy with the current state of weather prediction:
“The weathermen–I’m sorry, meteorologists, or whatever they want to call themselves must be brainless mutants incapable of reading a weather map.”
Here’s a meteorologist attacked by a pelican under a Wiccan spell:
I’d love for the state of weather prediction to be utterly flawless. I’d also love if people weren’t killing each other over archaic religious traditions that involve talking snakes and Holy Lands. I mean, fuck, it’s 2010. We’re nine years away from the year that Blade Runner was set in. NINE!!! We should be fighting over rare minerals that give humans the ability to set things on fire by pointing at them. You know, fun shit that might accidentally move us forward as a species or something. But such is not the world we live in. We haven’t even mastered the art of producing an artificial sweetener that doesn’t come with a cancer risk or light beer that doesn’t taste like metallic piss. So it’s perfectly reasonable if predicting one of the most chaotic natural phenomena in existence is less than an exact science.
“They don’t know what they’re talking about!” is what these angry, reverse muffin-shaped people inevitably say. Is it really that simple? What frame of reference and expertise are you bringing to the conversation to support your claim? Did you have a problem with their methodology and prediction BEFORE your Beer, Laffs, N’ Food party got rained out unexpectedly? If an actual meteorologist was raising such a complaint, you can be assured that I’d listen to what he or she had to say. But these folks aren’t meteorologists. If you were to ask one of these people to explain, briefly, what they know about meteorology and weather forecasting, they would probably not say “Well…a combination of temperature, water vapor, air pressure, and the gradients of each of those factors interacting with one another generally produces such and such conditions and the most likely outcome based on those factors goes into predicting a forecast!”. No, their understanding of meteorology and forecasting looks something like this:
These are usually the same people whose entire frame of reference regarding ANYTHING boils down to how things affect them. And as such, they find the most accessible thing to villainize when they’re unhappy about something. Your local Chinese place taking too long to make your food? Stiff the delivery boy! Having issues with a consumer product? Chew out the first low-level employee you get on the phone! You can’t bitch at the weather itself. It lacks the convenience of a face. So please, direct your anger towards the sect of people who try to predict it! I implore you to follow the weather, if you don’t already. Make note of how often the weather people completely drop the ball. I’d wager that out of 365 days per year, most forecasts are close to dead on accurate 340-345 days of that year, if not more. That’s well over a 90% success rate. How many things in your day to day life provide a 90+% likelihood of reliability? Go ahead, I’ll wait.