Weathermen should not over exaggerate forecasts

Exaggerated forecasts can negatively affect people and their schedules.

Courtesy of weather.com

Exaggerated forecasts can negatively affect people and their schedules.

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Winter snowstorm Juno was expected to take over the entire East coast starting Monday, Jan. 26. Multiple states including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut all went into a state of emergency in fear of the predicted blizzard. But when the dreaded snowstorm did arrive, many children and adults alike felt underwhelmed.

“I woke up and expected not to be able to see out the front door but all I saw was a clear road and a light dusting of snow,” said Madi Palat (‘18)

The reason behind all of the panic and chaos leads down to public figures such as politicians and weathermen. In fact it is a big chain reaction. To get more attention and a wider audience, the news has to talk about what is going captivate people’s attentions. That explains why here in New Jersey, people were warned of a possibility of 10 to 14 inches of snow, when the reality was a measly two to three inches. Politicians and government officials want to be thanked for preparing everyone for a storm and be rewarded in the process for their good behavior; therefore, they take extreme measures, and maybe even cross boundaries, to ensure no one gets hurt.

By using extreme adjectives and alluding to the worst case scenario, everyone seems to forget that it is only weather. “The national weather service, which isn’t prone to exaggeration, is using terms like ‘life-threatening,’ and ‘historic,'” said CNN in an online report on Monday.

Well, the only “historic” thing anyone will remember about snow storm Juno is that the New York Subway System was shut down for the first time in history. Many people were unable to get to their work because there was no subway, but anyone could walk through the lack of snow perfectly. No hard working citizen should be punished for a weatherman’s attempt at gaining attention and a politician’s desire for reward. When powerful figures exaggerate, people are going to react.

Even people here at Cherry Hill East were penalized with a day off from school when a delay would have sufficed. The district, oddly enough, did not choose to wait for their usual 5 a.m. phone call but instead announced closure the night before. The pressure from news channels and officials has now had the impact of taking away Cherry Hill East’s off day on Presidents Day. Leaders in New York and New Jersey now have to defend themselves for their panic causing mistakes.

Words have meaning and when used in the wrong context, they will grab attention and can potentially lead to chaos. If the leaders of states would stop using snow as an excuse to break down, situations could be handled more rationally. So next time there is a prediction of snow in the forecast, everyone needs a reminder to keep calm and not shut down their lives. As they say, “the snow must go on.”