Should weather forecasters be fined for screwing up?

Local councillors in the Netherlands are calling for weather forecasters who get their predictions wrong to be fined.

KNMI, the commercial weather bureau, based at Hilversum, near Amsterdam, whose forecasts are widely used by Dutch TV and newspapers, has been blamed with Mr Thonissen saying: “Heavy rain above Hilversum does not mean that is the case in the rest of the country.”

Pieter van Cutsem, who runs a small hotel in Hoek van Holland, agrees that forecasters should be “punished” for incorrect predictions,saying: “Despite having more forecasting tools than ever before they often get it wrong.

“Recent weather reporting has been completely inaccurate and it is hitting local businesses dearly because people are cancelling bookings. I agree they should be fined on the grounds of disseminating incorrect information.”

Cees Molenaars, a spokesman for KNMI told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: “TV, radio and newspapers use the raw data we deliver but it is up to them to how their forecasts turn out.”

Doesn’t sound to me like they’re providing much in the line of guidance at KNMI. MAybe they should be fined when they get it wrong?

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One comment

  1. Kanerva

    Hah! Dare I say it: storm in a teacup :) leave the forecasters alone. After all, no-one ever says thank you for a forecast that is spot on….

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