There's an ongoing debate in the weather forecasting community about whether forecasters should be held liable for their predictions. We asked you about this on a recent Weather Notebook Brainstorm. Hi, I'm Dave Thurlow for the Mount Washington Observatory.
On occasion a weathercaster may miss a forecast...yes I know it's hard to believe, but it does happen. And when a forecast is missed, some people may feel that they were led astray. So, I recently asked if forecasters should be held liable for missed forecasts.
Well, needless to say, most people didn't think suing the weatherman was a good idea:
"What a ridiculous idea."
"I think it's crazy."
"I think that's going entirely too far."
"Heaven's no. No way."
Brian Brennen, a listener of affiliate station WBFO in Buffalo pointed out that forecasting the weather is like playing the stock market, it's an educated guess of future events:
"I think it can be used as a tool to plan a picnic or maybe a vacation, but there's certainly no guarantee and anyone who looks at it as such isn't looking at the spirit of prognostication.
Thankfully Rick Fuller, also a listener of WBFO in Buffalo has the cure all for weathercasters. He suggests having them place the following disclaimer at the end of each weather report:
'Preceding weather forecast was only a hypothesis, an educated guess or tentative explanation of what may or may not happen over the next few days, hours or minutes. In no way should the forecast be interpreted as a determination of any weather condition, past, present or future that may occur, be occurring or have occurred. We reserve the right to change our weather hypothesis at any time including after the fact. For an actual, accurate weather condition in your area, please step outside.'"
Works for me. The Weather Notebook is a production of the Mount Washington Observatory. Support comes from Subaru and the National Science Foundation.