About 7 weeks ago I walked away from 25 years in TV weather. During my final days, I posted some lessons I’d learned throughout my career. In case you missed them on Facebook or LinkedIn, I’m sharing them here.
- GETTING PAID TO LIE
There is a running “joke” about meteorologists getting paid to lie. If I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me – either in jest or in anger – I’d be a rich woman. Sure, sometimes we get it wrong, but we are right much more often than not. No one remembers that part. They only remember the one time “they” said it was going to rain (who is “they” anyway?) and it didn’t.
I hate being wrong. I always did my absolute best to be as accurate as possible with every forecast. Sometimes I even stewed over one number… “Should I go with 90 or 89 for the high?” Sometimes I chose wrong. But it wasn’t on purpose, and I didn’t do it just to tick you off or ruin your outdoor plans.
The next time you call a weathercaster a liar, please remember we are dealing with a complex and complicated atmosphere constantly in motion. Anyone who has ever studied meteorology (including a beginner college class) will tell you, the more you know about the atmosphere, the more you realize you don’t know, and how much there *is* to know. It’s interesting and fascinating, but also complex and dynamic.
Here’s the thing. I understand I wasn’t performing brain surgery. I’m not a nurse. I’m not curing cancer. I’m not a school teacher. I wasn’t doing any other number of things that really deserve kudos. Every once in a while I got to help someone stay safe in a dangerous situation (like a tornado or hurricane). But on a day-to-day basis, I just talked about the weather. I constructed the forecast myself. I did not read numbers from an app or someone else’s forecast. When someone attacked my work, I took it personally. I took pride in my work. I wanted to be accurate. I wanted to be clear. I always wanted you to watch MY station rather than any other of the good TV stations in town. But sometimes I got it wrong. It was part of the job. I accepted it and I learned from it.
No matter how old you get to be, no matter how technologically advanced we become, there will never be a forecaster who gets the forecast 100-percent right, 100% of the time. It just can’t be done. The Earth is constantly moving and the weather is constantly changing.
➡️ “Don’t wait for an employer, friend, or mentor to show appreciation for your work. Take pride in your own efforts on a daily basis.” – Denis Waitley
(Click the link below to read my blog “Why is the weather forecast sometimes wrong?” https://amysweezey.com/2015/06/ask-amy-6-why-is-the-weather-forecast-sometimes-wrong/