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October 7, 2020 8:01 pm  #1

A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

I'm one of those people who likes to watch weather forecasts on TV news. (Surveys have consistently shown it's one of the biggest attractions of a newscast.) But there's a trend that's been going on for years that drives me insane (not a long drive!) and it happened again this week. 

For the past few days, almost every meteorologist or "weather specialist" (the term used when the person has no real degree or expertise in the science) has been calling for an amazing 25C high this coming Saturday. That would be well above normal, of course, and return us for perhaps one last day to summer. 

I love the heat and dread the winter (yeah, I know, un-Canadian, but there it is.) So I was looking forward to this one-day heatwave. 

But then what ALWAYS happens with these predictions came true again. The so-called 7-day forecast on Saturday and Sunday on just about every station advertised that wonderful 25C. Then came Monday, and it was pulled down a degree to 24. OK, still really nice. 

Come Tuesday and that now-not-so-long-range forecast suddenly showed Saturday with a 22C high. 

And on Wednesday night, it was down to 20. 

I suspect by the time we actually reach the weekend, it will wind up being -8C with snow. 

I know that it's an inexact science, especially the further out you are from the actual date. But if you watch the weather guys on a regular basis, you've seen this movie before. They continually predict this great warmth and then the closer we get, the more the temperature starts creeping down, day-by-day.  

The weird thing is - this never seems to happen when they're predicting a freezing cold outlook. Those always come true. 

So that's my pet peeve - why do they constantly promise us nice weather in the long range and then never deliver what they predicted when we actually get there?

I once asked our weather guy at the TV station where we worked together and he just laughed and said very little in response. (He was a great guy and a meteorologist and knowing how much I hate huge snowstorms would often greet me as I came into the newsroom, cackling gleefully, "Oh, you're going to just HATE what's coming!" and then walk away laughing. It was a weird relationship, but I really liked him anyway!)

Has anyone else noticed this besides me? Nice weather prognostications almost always change over a series of days to become worse. Worse weather rarely changes to become better. Watch for it to happen over and over again, the next time you see an unusual significantly warmer-than-normal temperature prediction in the spring, fall or winter. It's been going on for years and I wish they'd just get it right for once instead of promising what Mother Nature never delivers. 

Sorry for going on about this. But it's been bugging me for years. Saturday will be here soon. Now where did I put my winter coat?


October 7, 2020 8:07 pm  #2

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

So do many of the TV stations (well, Environment Canada at least) - and they get it wrong, too. 

It's a conspiracy, I tells ya, a conspiracy! 

     Thread Starter

October 7, 2020 9:21 pm  #3

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

What ticks me off is when they say rain is a risk?!!?!  Or because it is going to rain, that makes it a bad day. We should be pretty thankful for rain here. Look at other nearby places on earth.


October 7, 2020 10:33 pm  #4

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

It's not just you RA;  and it isn't a new issue.

Aging myself (and then some) I remember Dave Devall talking about the then revolutionary introduction of Doppler Radar;   to CFTO's weather forecasting tools.   Truthfully however, even today regardless of the source,  weather forecasts  are rarely very accurate beyond 3-4 days.

Last edited by Media Observer (October 7, 2020 10:37 pm)


October 8, 2020 12:37 am  #5

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

The weather forecasters always seem so cheerful when we are headed into a week full of 35C temperatures and 45C humidexes [or heat index as is used south of the border] When that happens, I am ready to throw something at my tv. Humidity makes me a rather unpleasant person. I will gladly take wind chill over humidex anytime. You can always put on an extra sweater if it is cold. There is only so much you can take off when the humidex is running rampant, if you actually must go into the outside world. Being semi-retired, if the weather is bad, I don't have to drive anywhere. The three block walk to work I can handle with the toque, gloves, scarf and heavy winter coat.


October 8, 2020 3:04 am  #6

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

I can totally relate RA, the weather patterns we dislike the most seems to stall and stick around longer than predicted. The weather we love, there's always a twist...

As I was wiping away my sweat moustache for the hundredth time this past August, I couldn't wait for the cooler weather, and fewer migraines from the abrupt changes in barometric pressure. Humid is a four letter word if you catch my drift.

A pet peeve of mine re the weather is that "watches" and "warnings" sound so similar it can be easy to mix 'em up.

Environment Canada et all could help a lot if they would remind the public to "watch out for the warning" as a way to know when severe weather is closing in and govern themselves accordingly, to use one of John Moore's nifty expressions.

Last edited by betaylored (October 8, 2020 3:05 am)


October 8, 2020 8:45 am  #7

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

The long range forecast is essentially an educated guess on what a system many miles to the west or south-west will do and what direction it will take based on computer models. You really can't predict weather with any reasonable accuracy more than 24 hours in advance.  A one or two degree shift can change everything. Regarding warm predictions, the opposite is also true.  Many times last winter the long range forecast had snow on days I was plannning to be driving and by the time the day arrived, the snow had either been taken out of the forecast, became light flurries or arrived a few days later. Not that I was complaining.

Last edited by Broodcaster (October 8, 2020 9:01 am)


October 8, 2020 9:49 am  #8

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

betaylored wrote:

A pet peeve of mine re the weather is that "watches" and "warnings" sound so similar it can be easy to mix 'em up.

This one bugs a lot of people. As it's been explained to me by our WX guys, a "watch" means that conditions are favourable for something like a storm or a tornado. A "warning" means that such an event is either imminent or occurring and you should take shelter immediately. But yeah, it's sometimes hard to keep them straight. 

One term that baffles me is constantly used by CTV Toronto's Anwar Knight. He frequently refers to a "severe limit storm," an expression that in all the years I've watched him, he's never once explained. He seems to assume that everyone just is born with the knowledge of what that means. I wasn't. And in fact, when I searched for the term on Google, nothing came up, which is very unusual. 

On the topic of Mr. Knight, I've written before about how, while he obviously enjoys his on location sojourns and his producers seem to love it, too, I frequently find myself yelling at the screen, "JUST GET TO THE WEATHER ALREADY!!!" I don't care where you are or why you're there or about the life span of a tree frog - just tell me if it's going to rain, dammit!

And by the way, next time you watch him, count the number of times he says the words "fascinating" and "amazing" when he's on location somewhere. Apparently everything seems of intense interest to this guy. If you played a drinking game with those two words, you'd be absolutely hammered by the end of the newscast.

     Thread Starter

October 9, 2020 7:17 am  #9

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

If I knew how to post a vid I would submit this. 


October 9, 2020 11:12 am  #10

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

kosmo wrote:

If I knew how to post a vid I would submit this. 



October 9, 2020 11:20 am  #11

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

That was great. Sounds like something I might have written. It's exactly what I was talking about. So THAT'S the reason it happens so often! 

     Thread Starter

October 9, 2020 11:46 am  #12

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

How about this forecast


October 11, 2020 12:56 pm  #13

Re: A Broadcasting Weather Pet Peeve Strikes Again

Now that Dark Sky is going 'dark' check out AERIS.

grilled.cheese wrote:

I get my weather from Weather Underground and Environment Canada


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.