Sunday Fun: Top Ten Reactions When People Learn You Are a Meteorologist

These are so true. The list is here. Ian Frost (the author) is so correct and every meteorologist has heard them over and over (yet, the person speaking them thinks he/she is being clever). The #1 is:

1. ”It’s the only job you can be wrong (insert %/fraction) of the time and still be employed/get paid.” Definitely the most common response I have heard since becoming a meteorologist. Usually the percentage is greater than or equal to 50 or the fraction is a 1/2 or more. The fact of the matter is, there is usually some kind of quality control to keep us in line. If our forecast is better than climatology/models/”the system” more often than not, then we’re doing a good job. If you want us to get the forecast right 100% of the time for something that’s ever changing in a non-hydrostatic atmosphere, keep dreaming. If your percentage is 1%, I’ll take it as a compliment. If you are wrong 99% of the time, you probably will not have a job.

The way I usually hear it is, "I wish I could keep a job while being wrong 90% of the time!"

Want to endear yourself to a meteorologist? Upon being introduced say, "Nice to meet you!" and leave it at that. That will be so unusual, you'll make a favorable impression on him/her.


  1. In your opinion, how is the demand for students who have a meteorology background out of college? As usual, we have a chronic shortage of engineers.

  2. I worked for a radio station for a while and one of the biggest problems that I have seen on the above is the fact people don't pay attention. Two examples:
    first one is from in Puget Sound, The Seattle TV and radio stations were oriented toward Seattle itself and not really to the smaller towns around there. I don't no how many times people would complain because the forecast was off even though the town was 50 or more mile away even over the mountains.
    Second is from Kansas City when severe storms were going through the KC broadcast area and folks would complain because the TV was interupted by a tornado warning not in their immediate area.

  3. @Brian: Demand for meteorologists with degrees is good, not terrific. A caution: Most of the positions are in the private sector while most university programs prepare the student for NWS or research.


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