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John Wheeler: Pay no attention to meteorologist wannabees

Copying and pasting a panel from the model is not the same as considering the actual meteorology of the situation.

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FARGO — It is that time of year when over-excited meteorologist wannabees start posting on social media computer model output showing ridiculous snow totals. Experienced meteorologists know better than to treat these single panels of QPF (quantitative precipitation forecast) as a legitimate forecast, particularly when the model output is for many days into the future.

Copying and pasting a panel from the 10-day GFS or European Model is not the same as considering the actual meteorology of the situation and making a reasonable forecast. However, social media is already filling up with "potential" snowstorms that look official but are not. There is always uncertainty with weather forecasting and because these unfortunate posts are readily spread around social media by your friends and presented as "another opinion," the confusion surrounding weather forecasting is multiplied. It is best to stick to legitimate weather sources and tune out the debris flying around the web.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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