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Anonymous question
December 2016.
29
What do most people get wrong about meteorology?
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What people mostly get wrong about meteorology is blaming the forecaster for getting the forecast wrong. Sometimes, depending on what terms you’re using, the forecaster can explain the right thing. But depending on the viewer or listener’s regard for how important weather is to them, or even if they’re paying attention to the forecast, the weather they experience might not be exactly what the forecaster said it might be.

"People also mix up meteorology and the study of meteors"

Showers for example, are hit or miss, so if you hear the word ‘showers’ that implies you’re going to get one. If you don’t get one, you’ll say the forecaster got it wrong. But it could be showering five minutes down the road from where you are. In terms of different types of showers, or another example, frost, some people will see it and others won’t, because of the micro-climate and geography that is involved. I find that, nowadays, people increasingly like to find other people to blame, and weather forecasting is one of those. It’s a forecast, not an actual confirmation.

"What people mostly get wrong about meteorology is blaming the forecaster for getting the forecast wrong" – Michael Fish fails to predict the 1987 hurricane

People also mix up meteorology, which is the study of the earth’s atmosphere, and the study of meteors, which are beyond our atmosphere, in other words, outer space. There is the field of space meteorology, but it’s not the same science…