Today the nation honors the meteorologists that toil away day after day to give you the most accurate forecast. ;-)
It is National Meteorologist (or Weatherperson) Day. (And no, I did not make this up!) According to the National Weather Service (NWS) in St. Louis the day marks the birthday of John Jeffries in 1744. The NWS says he was "one of America's first weather observers, began taking daily weather observations in Boston in 1774 and he took the first balloon observation in 1784."
Forecasting is a 24 hour job, 365 days a year. During severe weather, meteorologists give out information that could be the difference between life and death for those in the path of the danger.
The NWS says "recent severe weather statistics show that we continue to improve our capability to warn the public of impending hazardous weather. Nationally, lead time for flash flood warnings improved from 22 minutes in 1993 to 78 minutes in 2008. Accuracy over the same time period increased from 71 percent to 91 percent. Lead time for tornado warnings has increased from 6 minutes in 1993 to 13 minutes today. Tornado warning accuracy increased from 43 percent to 72 percent. Winter storm accuracy in 2008 was 89 percent with an average lead time of 17 hours. Since 1990, the Tropical Prediction Center's 24 to 72 hour tropical storm forecast track errors have been reduced by more than 50%."
The science of forecasting continues to improve these numbers. Happy Meteorologist Day!
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