13 Things Your TV Weather Forecaster Won’t Tell You
Here's a prediction: You'll get more accurate insight from your five-day forecast with these secrets from local weather reporters.
The meteorologist is usually the highest-paid person on the broadcast
Weather is one of the top reasons why people watch local news. That’s probably why the stations with the best weather people usually have the best ratings.
Bad weather is good for ratings—really good
When there’s a big storm coming, some TV stations will get three or four times as many people watching as normal. Our news directors love it.
The hurricane season forecasts that come out every year predicting the year’s storm activity are almost always wrong
Even I was surprised when I realized how inaccurate they are.
There’s no legal definition of a meteorologist, so anybody can call him- or herself one and get away with it
Try to get your weather from someone certified by the American Meteorological Society—it just takes a quick Google search.
We’re not very good at predicting summer showers and thunderstorms, because they’re so small
It can be sunny all day a mile away from you, but you get the rain. Learn these 5 weird facts about rain you never knew.
The dew point—not the relative humidity—is the best measure of how humid it feels outside
When it’s raining, for example, you can have 100 percent humidity, but it may not feel sticky. Yet anytime the dew point is over 65 degrees, it will feel humid. And if it’s at 75, that means it’s very wet out there.
Summer forecasting is a breeze compared with winter reporting
The toughest question: Is it going to snow? Unlike warm-weather predictions, if I’m off by one degree in the winter, it can mean the difference between rain, snow, and sleet.
Partly sunny is actually more gray than partly cloudy
Here’s the scale from least to most sunny: cloudy, mostly cloudy or partly sunny, partly cloudy or mostly sunny, and then sunny or clear.
Don’t take a shower during a thunderstorm
You can get struck by lightning due to metal plumbing, which conducts electricity. Check out these six strange facts about lightning you never knew.
Our long-range forecasts aren’t very accurate
We’re quite good at one to three days out and decent five to seven days out.
Watch out for phrases like “Shocking forecasts to come” before commercial breaks
We use the hype to get your attention. Next, check out these old wive’s tales about weather that you can safely ignore.
Sources: Joe Murgo, chief meteorologist for WTAJ-TV in Altoona, Pa.; Chuck Gaidica, a meteorologist in Detroit, Mich.; David Bernard, chief meteorologist at CBS Miami/Fort Lauderdale; Chris Maier, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service; AJ Jain, an energy meteorologist who blogs about the weather industry at www.freshaj.com; and weathermen in Michigan and Los Angeles.