Skip to comments.Does Government Weather Forecasting Endanger Lives?
Posted on 08/22/2007 7:05:42 AM PDT by NY.SS-Bar9
As Hurricane Dean roars through the Gulf of Mexico, it reminds everyone how dangerous the weather can be. But it should also remind everyone how poorly the National Hurricane Center has been at predicting storms.
Despite dire predictions from the National Hurricane Center, no hurricanes hit the U.S. last year. This year they are again predicting as many as 10 hurricanes, up to five of them hitting the U.S. Fortunately, Dean also seems most likely to miss us.
All this raises a question: Is the governments free weather prediction service so bad that it is worth paying for private companies to predict the weather?
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
No. What a stupid article.
I don’t know but the weather channel is pretty pathetic about predicting local weather. I was 10 minutes into a strong storm this morning before the warning for my area was given.
No, wreckless reporting from the eye of the hurricane endangers lives.
Maybe they need to get out of the prediction service business and just report the weather.
Why do we want a private business to get blame and liability for this.
Besides, didn’t the farmers almanac already do this?
In my opinion, severe weather alerts should only be issued if there is a real danger. The frequency of these alerts caused them to be ignore.
The hype comes from privately owned weather services (e.g. TWC) hawking for advertising. The more they stir doom, the more people will tune in.
Despite dire predictions from the National Hurricane Center, no hurricanes hit the U.S. last year. This year they are again predicting as many as 10 hurricanes, up to five of them hitting the U.S.
First of all, I don't see ANY seasonal hurricane forecast predicting the number of hits - instead, they usually predict a statistical chance of a given part of the coast getting hit.
Second, you can have a very active hurricane season and have no hits on the US, and vice versa - Andrew happened during an otherwise slow year.
Third, forecasts are just that - forecasts. Last year, there was an unexpected early el Nino.
And all I see from Accuweather is hype.
Going over the Yucatan will do that to a hurricane.
The private weather services (Accu-Weather and TWC) get all their data from NOAA/NWS. They simply do not have the resources to gather the data (satellites, Cray computers etc); they just put their own predictions together. TWC is mainly entertainment now. IMHO, the data gathering and forecast probality should be left to NOAA/NWS. Ever notice that they never say it WILL rain, rather that it MIGHT rain ....
Another note - Ole ex-Senator Ric Santorum wanted to privatize (Accu Weather is in State College PA). Groups like BOAT US were vehemently opposed to this and contributed to his opponent. Lots of boaters could give a rat’s a!! about abortion but wanted to keep the free non-commercial weather radio.
Those of us that grew up on the coast understand hurricane prep starts June 1st.
I followed the entire history of Dean from a disturbance off the coast of Africa to it’s current status. The predictions, both government and private, had Dean going just about everywhere except where it eventually went, from out to sea in the Atlantic, up the East Coast, into the Carolinas, Miami, the Keys, Hispanola, and the Gulf Coast. Predicting the course of a hurricane is not easy, and if this writer thinks he can do better, then let’s see him make his own predictions and see how accurate he is. If he prefers only to bitch about other people’s predictions, he can just STFU.
John Lott should stick to things he knows about.
The question is:
Does the government lower the quality of forecasts by competing in a market better served by private enterprise?
I don't see how this can be proven, given that weather forecasting itself is highly error-prone, so how do you discern poor quality due to government forecast from poor quality due to the inherent nature of the field itself? I've seen nothing from Accuweather that makes me think they are a marked improvement over the NWS.
The weather channel gets the local forecast from the National Weather Service. Any alerts/warnings are put out by NWS. The Weather Channel only delivers the message - they don't create the alert/warning.
Is it possible that NOAA, with 800+ million in tax dollars, forces TWC and others to rely on a more sensational style to compete?