Weather forecasts: What do they mean?
The weather is a well-established topic of conversation among the public. A high frequency of broadcasts of weather forecasts by radio stations provides ready fuel to stoke these conversations. Most people must hear at least one forecast each day. Regardless of the other tasks the Meteorological Service performs – and they are many – it is largely by the accuracy of these forecasts that the public measures the quality of the Meteorological Service. It seems, therefore, vitally important to make every effort to ensure that the meaning of the forecast is not altered in transit from the forecaster to the public. Just how well do forecasts retain their meaning? What can be done to ensure that they do? The following is a sometimes light hearted, sometimes serious, look at the problem.