Fake Weather, Or Just Bad

On social media, there is a lot of weather information. Some of it is good and useful, but like everything else, some of it is misinformation which can be potentially harmful. One area of special concern during winter is the distribution of weather model images depicting huge snow forecasts or blinding blizzards. Too much of this is fake or just wrong.

Unfortunately, too many of my colleagues with meteorological training are too often guilty of posting model images of very precise winter storm forecasts for storms a week or more away.

I recommend these rules of thumb: Forecasts for a week away should be vague; forecasts 3-5 days away can be slightly more precise but storm tracks can still be off by 2-3 hundred miles; forecasts 1-2 days away can reasonably forecast inches of snow in ranges. Anything suggesting better precision than this should be ignored.

Not only does a good meteorologist not have this much weather insight, a good meteorologist knows better.

Meteorologist John Wheeler