Thanks Hermine: Not The Ending to Summer I Was Hoping For
These past few days were not especially good ones for meteorologists like our own Dan Zarrow as the Tropical Storm named Hermine did not live up to what was forecast for the Jersey Shore.Dan and dozens of others have been the brunt of jokes, ripped on social media and blamed for the cancellation of outdoor plans that could have taken place. It would be easy to pile on but I won’t do that. Well, not exactly.
To me the problem is that forecasting the weather is not an exact science yet once meteorologists become convinced that something is going to happen the outlets they work for take the ball and run. The hype over the prediction of bad weather takes a life onto itself as TV news crews are sent in advance to locations that could be impacted if indeed the forecast is accurate.
Instead of downplaying what in essence is a prediction you as a viewer or listener are left with the impression that the doom and gloom coming is a fact. To make matters worse even when it was obvious Hermine was going to fizzle out we’re still bombarded with coverage and meteorologists are reporting the problems that could still come.
What you want at that time is them to just say “we were wrong” and here is why.
I’ve heard more than my share of old timers wax poetic about how it was better when the weather forecast was based on your arthritis, farm animals or what the sky looked like. Truth is that advances in technology and science that allow us to get a fairly accurate forecast are a big benefit and have saved countless numbers of lives and prevented considerable property damage. However, we need to remember that the definition of “forecast” is a prediction or estimate of future events and not a fact or certainty.
While we might have been inconvenienced by Hermine I’m thrilled she came and went without leaving much of an impression. I’ll take her over Sandy any day.