Every year ~ above the second day of February, the country checks in through a dorky and also lovable northeastern weather forecaster to watch what he needs to say around the fate of the remainder the winter. It’s no Al Roker, of course, yet a pampered groundhog called Punxsutawney Phil, a superordinary staple that American childhoods for generations. Rooted in europe folklore and also brought come the U.S. In the 1800s, the tradition holds that there will certainly be six an ext weeks that winter if Phil comes out of his burrow and also sees his shadow. If that doesn’t check out his shadow, it means we’ll have very early spring that year.

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If he is wrong—analysts can’t rather agree ~ above his accuracy rate—authorities in Punxsutawney insist the clairvoyant groundhog prophesied the weather correctly and also his interpreter merely misheard him. If just that excuse functioned for meteorologists! Nobody serious expects an exact weather projection from a woodchuck whispering come a guy in a tuxedo and also top hat, yet everybody expects precise forecasts native the skilled men and also women who issue predictions every pair of hours the totality year round. Regardless of the yearly show in countryside Pennsylvania, weather forecasting is still among those professions that’s cool to hate. The disdain is undeserved. Right here are four reasons why.


It’s common for small talk to start with the assertion that your friendly community meteorologist is a liar and also a guesser, taking wild ferris wheel at a map all while stuffing their pockets through bribes native hardware shop to falsely projection bouts that doom and gloom. Yet despite all of that an alleged misinformation, most human being still reliably check the weather projection at least once a day.

The negative rap the weather forecasters obtain is the result of confirmation prejudice on the part of civilization repeating this myths in the very first place. You’re much more likely come remember an inaccurate forecast—called a “bust”—than you space to mental a forecast that to be dead-on, and all those memories include up after ~ a while, making you think that forecasts are more inaccurate 보다 they really are.


The tough data backs increase the reality that many weather forecasts space issued on hard footing. Some locations are more difficult to estimate than others. Miami’s weather is reliably monotonous, while Atlanta, just a few hundred miles away, can experience numerous dramatic swings in weather problems in simply one day.

Nationwide, estimate Advisor calculates the the typical accuracy rate for weather forecasts normally rests somewhere between 70 and also 80 percent. This figure has most significant public and also private weather outlets, including the national Weather organization (NWS), The Weather Channel, and also AccuWeather. This statistic reflects the truth that meteorologists are equipped with far better technology and better knowledge than ever before before, permitting them to much more confidently worry predictions with better accuracy because that a much longer stretch the time. And also forecasting is just going to get much more accurate, many thanks to the newest go satellite and also a group of suitcase-sized satellites the track hurricanes, all of which released in so late 2016.

Getting three-quarters of your predictions appropriate isn’t perfect, yet weather forecasting is one of the just careers whereby it’s her duty to predict the future every day. There’s constantly going come be some unpredictability in a vast, fluid atmosphere, however our ability to suspect its motions is slowly getting better with time.



The United says sees an ext than a thousand tornadoes in an average year. Many of those tornadoes can take place in large outbreaks, yet the vast bulk of tornadoes take place without much fanfare. Unfortunately, tornadoes space the last point you want to occur without fanfare.

Tornado warnings are common to a fault. In 2016, the NWS issued 2049 tornado warnings across the country, however there to be only around 1060 tornadoes reported with the end of the year. Presume that about 60 percent the tornadoes got warnings—the typical for the past pair of years—that method that around 70 percent of all tornado warnings issued last year were false alarms.

False alarms space a large deal. They have actually a substantial impact ~ above how world react in a attention situation. The official false alarm price reported by the NWS hovers in between 70 and also 75 percent each year, and the “probability the detection”—whether lock issued a warning because that a tornado in ~ all—has been approximately 60 percent for the past couple of years. That way that tornadoes only type in around 25 come 30 percent of all tornado warnings, and practically 40 percent that tornadoes occur outside of a warning.

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Meteorologists have a long method to go on warning us about tornadoes, however they’re getting better. Weather radar is an ext advanced this particular day than that was 5 years ago, and also much better than it was v the early on 1990s. Modern weather radar can detect wind speeds and also foreign objects in a thunderstorm—two things that are tremendously valuable in trying come spot a tornado buried in heavy rain. Brand-new advances coming out in the following decade or two will offer us an even much better look at tornadic thunderstorms.