Meteorologists ‘should be ashamed’ of their ‘inaccurate’ predictions

Meteorologists “should be embarrassed” for using data “not reliable”, according to a study released by the US Meteorological Society.The study said it was not yet clear whether this was a “real-world” issue or just a “bad habit”.“We’re not saying it’s not true, but we think it’s a real-world issue,” said James Hutton, a meteorologist at…

Published by admin inOctober 30, 2021
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Meteorologists “should be embarrassed” for using data “not reliable”, according to a study released by the US Meteorological Society.

The study said it was not yet clear whether this was a “real-world” issue or just a “bad habit”.

“We’re not saying it’s not true, but we think it’s a real-world issue,” said James Hutton, a meteorologist at the US Weather Service, the nation’s leading weather service.

Hutton and his co-authors from the US National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that meteorologists’ data errors were “large and pervasive” in the US.

“The vast majority of those [errors] are not very high-level, like the weather service’s and NOAA’s, but they’re certainly not small, which is the sort of thing that’s important for an individual to be able to perform,” Hutton said.

He added that “the majority of them [errors in] the weather, for example, are really high-class errors”.

He said a lack of statistical rigour was likely the main reason for the errors.

“It’s a common thing for weather people to say that if we don’t get the right data, it doesn’t matter, but it’s very, very hard to get the data that we need,” he said.

“That’s why I think it is so important for meteorologists to be educated on this.”

The authors wrote that they would like to see more data available from the National Weather Services, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administrations, and the US Geological Survey.

“Data is the one thing that will save lives,” Hutt said.

Hansen said that the research showed that meteorological data was “often unreliable” and that “when the weather system is in flux, the weather is likely to change”.

“I think it [data] is a pretty big deal and it’s something that needs to be acknowledged,” Hansen said.

Follow Laura Tingle on Twitter: @latte_lee