Defending Weather Forecasters

by POPSIE 1956

As I write this, Upstate New York is again looking at some more snow in the forecast.

Shock of shocks!


It’s Upstate New York.

It’s Winter.


Fortunately, for our area at least, we weren’t bombarded like many portions of New England were, but it’s not like we weren’t warned…just in case.

There’s been a lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, especially in the Southern part of New York State, with a lot of people saying we shouldn’t have gotten all of the potential doom and gloom reports from the National Weather Service/the Weather Channel/the guys on local Radio & TV, (or in our case), NY Governor Andrew “I want my own Weather Service” Cuomo, who took over and shut down New York City and some outlining counties, in the end needlessly.

In fact, I heard of a guy from the National Weather Service in (I think) New Jersey who tweeted “I’m sorry” for getting it wrong.

Good Lord get a grip people!

The fact of the matter is, that even in 2015, these weather people have all of the models and maps and resources available… take their best guess which one is right, can’t hit it out of the ball park every time you’re at bat.

And (by and large), most of these folks are meteorologists, meaning they have a fancy degree that simply says “I’m trained to do what I do.”

I also have a fancy degree in Broadcasting that says “I’m trained to do what I do,” but after the first paying job in this business, that doesn’t mean squat after 40 years, I still make mistakes, because I’m human…

Just like the people who attempt to predict the weather.

And why is it most people seem to b*tch and moan about the weather forecasters getting it wrong in Winter?

Remember Summer?

Remembers Thunderstorms?

Remember Tornadoes?

If they get THAT one wrong, I don’t hear people calling them out on the carpet for it.

And also, seriously people, (insert Jerry Seinfeld voice here) what IS the deal with milk, bread and eggs?

If you’re stuck at home in a snowstorm, all of the milk, bread and eggs in the world won’t help you if the power goes off, especially if you don’t have a generator.

Unless one wants to protect themselves by covering up in French Toast batter against the elements.

Being in the Media, I do admit when it’s bad weather time, we do tend to crank up the coverage a lot, and many times, the information we give is of the “No Sh*t Sherlock” variety.

Why is that?

Because, frankly, there are more people than not who freak out and panic, and must be reassured by their Radio and Television friends that yes, we’re all going to be OK; drive with caution; if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out; and please, for the love of God, check on the elderly and those precious, precious pets.

Look, my parents have both passed, but when they were alive, I didn’t need Al Sleet, the Hippie Dippie Weather Man to remind me to look after Mom and Dad.

In fact, thinking of my Mom, I’m sure she would say “You dumba**, OF COURSE we’re alright!”

Finally, and this is showing my age, but at one time on TV, the “Weather Man” (or “Weather Girl,” sexism notwithstanding) was a former DJ who simply knew how to bullsh*t for seven minutes.

Locally, that includes former WGY Albany Morning Show host Don Weeks,

WGY-Weeks 11-30-2010  (3) copy-10-0-540-310 304

Don use to be the Weather Guy at one of the local TV stations; did a great job, and is mostly remembered during that time for his forecasts that included him doing a drawing of a character named Wally Weather, who would show you in a comical way what to expect.

Another local TV guy was Howard Tupper,


who besides doing Weather, hosted a weekly bowling show on TV for years, and ALWAYS acknowledged the kids with “Hi small fry.”

Neither Don or Tup were meteorologists, but we trusted them just the same.

And if they got it wrong, (and kids, this was YEARS before the Internet, computers and anything with the name Doppler), well sh*t happened, maybe they’ll do better next time.

And they weren’t alone, either, many very famous people in Entertainment at one point in their careers did TV Weather.

David Letterman;


Pat Sajak;


Marg Helgenberger;

"73 Seconds"

even Diane Sawyer.


In closing, give anyone and everyone who make a living telling us how to dress the next day some credit; isn’t it better to be ready for something horrible and terrifying before it happens, then feel relief when it doesn’t pan out because you were ready?

I just wish one of these folks were around before I met Ex Wife # 1 and Ex Wife # 2.