herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

'Thanks for ruining my day' - forecasters get flak for weather

Forecaster Jean Byrne Picture: Frank McGrath
Forecaster Jean Byrne Picture: Frank McGrath
Joanna Donnelly

Predicting the changeable Irish weather is not easy and our forecasters do not always get it right - but people are not shy about pointing this out it seems.

Records released to the Herald under Freedom of Information laws show that Met Eireann has received dozens of complaints over the past two years over its broadcasts.

And plenty of people felt moved to write in when the weather forecast was wrong for their area, with one person urging forecasters to "stick to the day job and trying to win the lotto".

Several complaints also accuse the State-funded forecaster of "bias".

"I would like to know why you are called Met Eireann instead of Met Dublin ... what an utter joke you are," one complaint read.

However, people living in Dublin were also among those who wrote letters and emails complaining about poor weather forecasts.

The attire of some of Met Eireann's female forecasters also drew criticism.

"One can hardly believe that we are having the coldest weather at the moment by the way the female presenters are dressed - it looks so ridiculous," one complainant wrote.

Having plans changed or ruined was also high on the list of complaints.

In one letter a member of the public was extremely put out by a weather forecast changing a golf club's plans.

"Why the hell do you always get the weather forecast so WRONG? Today was promised terrible, wet and windy when really the sun has been shining all day. The local golf club had a major competition scheduled for today and they had it called off during the week due to the bad weather forecast - which never came!"

Hurricane

Another argued that "naming storms or hurricanes after Christian names is very unfair to those people with that name as they can be associated with the aftermath of that storm". The complainant referred to Hurricane Katrina as an example in their letter.

Complaints were also lodged about Met Eireann only providing information about the weather in the Republic of Ireland, which was impractical for people arranging trips to the North.

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