Study: TV Weather Forecasts Suck

This guy conducted a seven-month study of how accurate his local TV stations’ weather forecasts are. The results are sobering. I wonder how well our TV stations would do?  #

9 Responses to “Study: TV Weather Forecasts Suck”


  • It’s (weatherman) the only job you can get wrong every day and still get a paycheck.

  • Chaos theory is interesting in his regatd.

  • Interesting. It always annoys me when I see a weather forecast predicting a 100 percent chance of rain. Sorry, unless it’s already happening, you cannot say that there is a 100 percent chance that anything is going to happen. I don’t care how cloudy it is or if there’s a hurricane 10 miles away heading in our direction, it’s impossible for there to be a 100 percent chance of rain.

    Actually, I’m surprised the forecasters in this study got as close to the actual temperatures as they did, though.

  • The local TV weather reporting is one of the most embarrassing things about living here. I love the pre-snow hysteria, with TV weather people fanning the flames, and then we end up with three snowflakes. My all time favorite local weather mistake happens in the summer. We’ll be in the middle of a heat wave, and the weather forecaster will predict a cool down for, say, a Tuesday. Tuesday arrives, and it’s as hot as ever, and now the cool down is predicted for Wednesday, and on and on with the cooler weather never coming. It’s so frustrating, I can’t even stand to be in the same room with the TV weather forecast during the summer.

  • Not to harp, but in Buffalo, where I’m originally from, one of the news stations had a gimmick called the “Four degree guarantee.” Basically, if the days high and low temps ended up being four degrees off what had been predicted for the day, some lucky viewer would get $100. Believe me, the people of Buffalo were not getting rich off of that deal, because the predicted temps were almost always within four degrees of the actual temps. If NBC 29 tried to do that, they’d be giving away $100 every night.

  • That’s an interesting point, Patience. I wonder, though, if our weather system here is inherently more unpredictable given the presence of the mountains, compared to a place like Buffalo which has a large constant such as Lake Erie that probably keeps weather patterns more stable?

    Of course, I’ve not studied weather in the classroom since I was 12. In fact, I even had to Google Buffalo to find out which Great Lake it was next to.

    In short, I think people are way too hard on the weather people. Sure, their gimmicks such as quadruple radar are sometimes ridiculous. If you’re critical of it, why bother watching? Just go to weather.com, see what the local conditions are, look at the radar map, and decide for yourself what’s going to happen.

  • I never really though that a Great Lake vs a mountain range would produce a more stable weather pattern. But you’re right, and my summer sanity strategy is to not watch TV weather reports. I really don’t like the summers here (being from Buffalo, where, if it gets up to 85, everybody grumbles about how hot it is.)

  • As far as I know (someone correct me if I’m wrong) our local TV “meteorologists” get their weather reports from some sort of wire service. They don’t actually sit around trying to figure out what the chances of rain tomorrow are. So if they’re frequently wrong, perhaps they need to find a better wire service.

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