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What do yall think about having this thread where we can follow people, like pages and websites for like tv stations and such? I will start, and if yall don't want or mods think its a bad idea, please go ahead and delete it. Won't hurt my feelings. @wxmanchris person twitter @41FirstAlert work twitter 41FirstAlert work Facebook www.41nbc.com/weather work website Anyone is welcome to follow/like and view pages. I will try to post about weather all around the Southeast.
Here is a rant by me on Facebook. A local group started whining about being picked on. I have a question for you: would you go to a five-year-old for medical advice? Or would you ask your six-year-old to change a tire on your car if it's flat? I have a real issue with a lot of weather forecasters on Facebook. I know I make the occasional prediction usually with sarcasm or something that may be important. There are a lot of people on Facebook who have interest in weather. I would say the vast majority of us are really interested in weather, we want to know whether we should bundle up or wear shorts. We want to know if it's an ice over tonight if we go out. Here are some thoughts: First, everybody's an expert on Facebook. This is really something that drives me nuts. There are legitimate weather forecasters out on Facebook who actually try to make a living doing this. I applaud them for this. They've taken their passion and turned it into a career. On the other side of the coin we have a bunch of teenagers who are interested in weather. So they have a passion for something they don't understand. So it may take them four years of college to get a good handle on weather forecasting. However, in the meantime because they are on Facebook, everybody looks to them as an expert. Go back to my first couple of lines of this post, would you ask a child for advice on a subject that are not prepared to answer? For the most part these young people are parroting information they received from an official source or from a meteorologist who post on Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate some of the people who post weather information on Facebook. Someone like DT from wxrisk.com, who goes out of his way to educate people on what to look for big snow storms. He hypes a bit and his snowfall forecasts are usually wrong (he tends to go higher than actual amounts). But he has passion and is willing to admit he is wrong. There are other groups on Facebook who consist of thrill seekers and meteorologist wannabes that make predictions. They have no concept of how the atmosphere works. Yet people go to them for weather advice. I have tried to figure out why people would go to a nonofficial source for weather information, I find that most people are looking for something that are not finding on the net. So there's a need for someone to provide information that the National Weather Service or TV meteorologist cannot provide. There are some groups that will hype a storm just to get page views. For example, I saw post the other night from one of these teenage groups that "the roads would be like a war zone". I know the roads in Pennsylvania are bad, and they do look like a war zone, but it is not because of somebody lobbing artillery on us, is because the roads are falling apart for lack of maintenance. So my question for you is this, the next time you go to a weather page on Facebook, ask yourself this question "what makes these people experts in weather and why should I trust them?" I'm also not bashing these kids were following their passion. Last summer a professional group "stated there would be no tornadoes in this area, because we don't think there will be". Guess what? There were several tornadoes reported after they made the statement. Just a side note, only the National Weather Service is allowed to issue storm warnings. They should be considered the official source for warnings. I get my information from many sources, including local TV, weather.gov, wunderground.com and from a weather bulletin board americanwx.com. I also know that weather forecasting is not an exact science. If someone says we are going to get 3 to 6 inches of snow, I can check with my sources to find out where they are getting their information. Enough of my rant, please keep in mind the next time you look at a weather page ask yourself "where is the information from and are they qualified to interpret that information?"