Are tv weatherman/woman needed anymore?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by maflynn, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    I've been wondering this for some time, and I saw this article over on ARs

    With iPhones and computer models, do we still need weather forecasters?


    I think for the most part, that weatherman/woman on TV do very little in the science of meteorology and more about just seeing what the computer models have to report. Basically they're using apps just like us, though those apps are more detailed.

    My phone weather apps have been just as accurate (or inaccurate as the case may be) as any tv weatherman, and I have the weather information instantly, instead of needing to watch the news.

    Thoughts on the forecasters and whether they may be the next victim to technology?
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    I think over time that yes, they will become more obsolete in the sense that we need/don't need to have them explain to us what the models predict on the TV. For the time being though, I think they're still necessary for some folks in the older generations, like my parents, who do not use smart devices or computers to get their weather or news - they still rely on the local news.
     
  3. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    Good point, those that are not connected still look to the TV for the forecast. I wonder though as time marches on, if the need for someone to read off what's going to happen versus those have degrees in that field.
     
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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    #4
    They have some good looking weather girls, it certainly keeps me interested in the weather.
     
  5. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #5
    My Mom is 88 years old and she doesn't have an online presence. She and people of her generation still rely on TV for news and entertainment. I can't get her to ditch the landline and move to a mobile phone either. You can tell by the type of advertising shown that the broadcasters know this.

    In the same vein, they could get rid of the sportscaster, and the news guys and gals too. But then what kind of garbage would they fill the time with. A major portion of TV news already seems to be filled by "Let's see what's trending on Twitter".
     
  6. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    I see your point but the difference is there is you have (had?) a meteorologists who went to school to learn the science, and back before the computer models spent time working on the forecast. Now like the sportscaster, they're just reading stuff off the teleprompter
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #7
    The various models never seem to quite nail it for the area where I live (Hampton Roads, VA -- Norfolk, Virginia Beach, etc). Not sure if it's because we're right on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean or what.

    In that sense, our area needs meteorologists that can read what the various models are suggesting, and then use their experience (from knowing what that actually means to this area) to forecast how it'll all actually come together.

    If anyone on Facebook lives in the Mid-Atlantic and wants to see the inner-workings of a private meteorologist (that has a limited filter when it comes to interacting with those that poke him on his FB page. which can be interesting), do a Facebook search for "wxrisk.com". He's not a big fan of most TV weather folks, although as geeky and detailed as he can get with his forecasts, he also often misses in our area (usually only in amounts of rain/snow). He reads the data the different models are based on and comes up with some pretty good (IMO) forecasts 2-3 weeks out.

    Anyhow, he eats/breaths/drinks weather. Passionate would be an understatement. Can be fun to follow (as well as be informative) when there's going to be active weather on the East Coast.
     
  8. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #8
    Yeah, they're going the way of the dodo. In NYC, the weatherman/woman is either comic relief or a nice set of boobs on 4 of the 6 local newscasts. Then again, local news is also going the way of the dodo. They do such a bad job on reporting actual news.
     
  9. an-other macrumors regular

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    #9
    ESPN pretty much obsoleted the Sports guy. Not missing the plaid sport coat. Weatherman are now dual role personalities. It's pretty amazing how much of a draw the Weather is on local news. I guess there's a certain intimacy with a human sharing the information.
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #10
    I think the computers, etc. do a great job of providing data, but I think people are still needed to interpret that data, and to present it. I don't think we're going to get rid of scientists anytime soon.
     
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #11
    Our local TV stations have been doing a really good job in the past few years of hiring people who REALLY know their weather.

    If you go online and read the station blogs, the meteorologists often present the models, break down what they mean, and give their opinions of what's likely to happen based on multiple model data. Of course, they don't generally do this on TV but rather condense it down to their predictions.

    In any case, reading the "behind the scenes" insight has made me realize that these guys(and ladies) generally DO know quite a bit about what they're talking about.

    Like many things, models are great but I still think they need a human behind them to make sense of the results. Locally, they often are looking at 2-4 models. Sometimes the models may be in agreement, and sometimes they may show VERY different things. There again, it takes some one trained in meteorology to really make sense of conflicting models. Here in the Ohio Valley, too, the weather is often unpredictable and-as mentioned above-having a lot of local experience makes their forecast more accurate. At one time, one of the local stations was making a big deal about how all five of their on staff meteorologist "grew up here" and I do think that makes a real difference in the quality of their predictions.

    As mentioned above, I love some of the weather ladies on the local channels-they have the winning combination of being both very intelligent and attractive :)
     
  12. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #12
    I forgot about that aspect. We have one TV station here that does a good job with blogging the "what went into the forecast that we gave on air". I've learned a lot from reading that.

    Another one does live Facebook video updates a few times on day where severe weather is expected. That's been cool, because you can ask them questions in the comments area, and they'll answer "live".
     
  13. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #14
    I think you nailed it right there. My preferred local station has 5 weather people with 90 years combined experience. at least 3 of those weather guys have ONLY done weather in my area, and in fact I think each of those 3 grew up in the area. Local knowledge of the topography of the area can contribute considerably to an accurate forecast. They also have first-hand experiences to contribute as they relate to previous major weather events.

    Those weather guys have started doing more than just weather though. One does a weekly report on a local kid that donates time to some local cause, another does a 30-minute show on state wine vineyards and how the weather contributes to the production (yeah, that's a tough one).
     
  14. Tech198, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016

    Tech198 macrumors G4

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    #15

    Doesn't really matter... Both are still remain inaccurate..... You would think your local weather in your area IS more accurate from widget on OS X or weather.com on iOS, but its not really.. its actually less accurate because it changes all the time.....to try and 'stay' accurate.

    The only way is to have a weather station situated in your local suburb... but that's not gonna happen.

    I rely more on Bureau of Meteorology than iOS, or OS X.


    when u look at the green screen and just pointing in thin air it looks kinda funny.
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    Our local main branch of the National Weather Service is located at the smaller and less busy of the cities' two airports(primarily used for private planes) while they have a secondary location at the "main" airport.

    I'm fortunate in that the main airport is about 3 miles(as the crow flies) from where I work, and the smaller airport is about 5 miles from where I live so their data is generally pretty applicable to me.

    Even so, larger airports are notorious for "micro climates". Our main airport doesn't handle a HUGE volume of passenger traffic, but does deal with a lot of flights by virtue of it being the international hub for UPS Express(UPS WorldPort). Airplanes do have a surprisingly large effect on the climate in and around an airport, plus the miles of tarmack make them something of of a heat island.

    In the US, a significant number of NWS branches are located at airports, which again can often skew their data.
     
  16. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #17
    If you're talking about the Weather Channel specifically, yeah, dump 'em. They used to be pretty solid, but have sensationalized every last weather disturbance.

    However, I wouldn't say that for everyone. I do like some of our local weather folks especially when they talk meteorology (some on CBS channel 2 used to and Craig Allen is still excellent.) My mom is elderly and like some others have mentioned relies on the tv forecast to kind of know what's going on. Although I always fill in.

    I basically check wunderground.com throughout the day (yeah, I know they're on the Weather Channel now but I like the data on their site.)
     
  17. WinstonRumfoord macrumors 6502

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    #18
    hahahahahahaham No!

    Meteorologists are obviously still needed, but "weatherpeople" on TV? With TVs dwindling viewership numbers, I bet the weatherpeople will be gone in 10 years time.
     
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

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    #19
    I've been thinking about this for a while. When you watch the news hear in the UK, it tends to be national news, followed by local news, followed by local weather. Straight after that they show the national weather! Why? Would you need to see the national weather straight after the local weather if you even need to see it when we all have the weather app in our pocket.
     
  19. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #20
    Once the baby boomers are gone it will be only so people can post news bloopers on YouTube.
     
  20. bradl macrumors 68040

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    #21
    I will say yes, but no.

    While most of the thread is based on the assumption that all is good with the weather as well as the concept of the weather forecast, when it comes to impending inclement weather, like a tornado warning from 3 - 4 funnel clouds in a metropolitan area, having that weather person there to tell you where the cells are, what neighbourhoods, what is being reported in those areas, etc... that is nor only reassuring that someone is looking out for you in the area you live in, but highly important as to when you need to seek/get into shelter.

    So for an emergency situation, they are definitely important and wouldn't/shouldn't be going away. For any other time, it boils down to comfort level and familiarity. We've let those people into our lives every night we tune to our favourite local station, so they seem like family. While the information they are giving can be found anywhere, the relationship aspect is unique, so being without that may disrupt their comfort levels.

    BL.
     
  21. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #22
    I hate to tell you this but my phone goes off when severe weather is about to hit. I get a better warning from it than I do catching the right channel at the right time. Lets face it, the news is only for people who haven't adopted technology yet.
     
  22. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #23
    Does your phone let you know which neighourhoods in your town are going to be hit? Track the path of the storm cell or funnel cloud? Tell you that the cloud has formed or that it is going to touch down?

    None of the 5 different weather apps I have tell me that, and that even includes the Emergency and Red Cross apps.

    BL.
     
  23. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #24
    Don't need it to do that, all the weather that rolls through where I'm at goes from SW to NE. I guess I'm almost a weatherman myself. Don't need the details on if it touched down, just if I should seek shelter or not. Not too concerned about which neighborhoods get hit either. It will just make me worry about if my family is ok and cause me stress, I'd much rather seek shelter worry about my own family and wait for any calls from the hospital. Maybe it's heartless but not much I could do about it in the first place.
     
  24. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #25
    tornadoes just went through my hometown, where my parents still live. Weather patterns there are from west to east, with cold fronts coming from the NW, and warm fronts from the SE. When they collide, we get the storms. But those storms all go from West to East.

    Knowing where those cells are the most violent and could produce tornadoes is valuable information, so you know what and where to avoid. That's life/death info, and invaluable at that.

    Forewarned = forearmed. If you know where that storm is, you could get word to your family to get them to shelter instead of worrying only about yourself for the sake of stress. A storm of that nature is naturally stressful to begin with, and to not worry about your family in situations like that is indeed heartless.

    BL.
     

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