Are television weathermen trained to decipher the weather?

Or are they just newsreaders?

I mean, any bimbo can get up there and read the weather forecast off of a teleprompter. Do these people know exactly what they are talking about? Do they go to school to study wind patterns, barometers, and such?

Most are just newsreaders. I know that in the Los Angeles news market, only Dallas Raines on channel 7 is a real meteorologist.

Not in Australia mate. On our commercial stations it’s looks, personality, charisma, ‘charm’, just about anything related to viewer likeability and absolutely nothing to do with actual scientific knowledge.

Gary England is real.

When I lived in Montreal, Don McGowan was the weatherman on one of the two main English TV stations in town. He was also an interviewer and hosted a internationally-syndicated travel show. I don’t think anybody thought that he was a meteorologist.

On the other hand, there was a fellow on a local radio station who would create his own forecasts and then compare them with those of Environment Canada. He also kept a record of how many times he was right and they were wrong. He took the job seriously!

The sad thing is, I remember the name of the “fake” meteorologist, but forget the name of the real one!

Here in Chicago we have Tom Skilling of WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune. This guy is the real deal. See herefor some info on Tom. He writes a Straight Dope-ish Weather Q&A in the Tribune every day, and I’ve noticed that many of the same questions pop up here on the SDMB. We take weather seriously in Chicago, probably because it’s so crappy all the time. In smaller markets I imagine a lot of the weathercasters are empty suits.

All the weather presenters used by the BBC in Britain are proper trained meteorologists. There is a current trend though, towards the young female presenters and away from the old ‘professor’ type. They are all trained and supposedly fully knowledgable though.

All on-air personalities on The Weather Channel are professional meteorologists.

Sigh… Jodi Saeland…

Not only fully trained but they are all employed by the Meteorological Office rather than the BBC. When not presenting on TV (they tend to work in rotation) they do regular Met. office duties.

Here’s the rundown for Madison, Wisconsin. We take the weather pretty seriously here, too.

CBS Affiliate -

The bios for all four weather people refer to them as Meteorologists.

ABC Affiliate -

Two with degrees in Meteorology.

One with a degree in Astmospheric & Oceanic Sciences.

One with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

NBC Affiliate -

One “bachelors degree” (does not say in what) with a reference to post-graduate atmospheric science credits and the title “Chief Meteorologist”.

One with a degree in broadcasting with a journalism minor who also “studied meteorology”.

One with a degree in Meteorology.
Total: 8 Meteorologists, 2 Journalism degrees (one of whom at least studied meteorology), 1 Atmospheric & Oceanic Science degree.

Correct ticker, I could of course have gone into more detail.

I work for the Met Office.

p.s. We are no longer called the Meteorological Office - one of those rebranding things.

Here in the Detroit area, Chuck Gaitica (sp?) is referred to as a meteorologist. Everyone else’s weather people are called “Weather Forcaster” or “Weather Expert” or somesuch, so they’re probably just newsreaders.

In the Schenectady area, nearly all weathermen and women are trained meteorologists. Either that, or they all have “Meteorologist” as their first name, since they are all introduced as “Meterorologist Joe Smooth.”

Of course, SUNY Albany has a very good atmospheric sciences department, so I suppose someone who wants to break into TV can go there to be trained.

There are a couple of exceptions, but they are solely used a fill-ins and on weekeneds. The last time a station used a non-meteorologist, he quickly flopped.

There are programs and certifications in “broadcast meteorology” that will allow virtually any fledgling TV news person to bill himself or herself as a “meteorologist.” They are offered by Altacert, and by some colleges.

Most TV weathermen are broadcasting graduates and “talents,” and get the meteorology certification so that they can get their feet on the lowest rung of broadcast journalism – the weather. Sometimes, such a person will become such a favorite that it’s to his advantage to stick to weather, and over the years he becomes a qualified forecaster in his own right. More often, they graduate to anchor positions at other stations.

Some “weathermen” aren’t even newspeople - San Diego has a weatherman named Bob Dale who had a drama degree and several shows under his belt: Zoorama, a movie hosting gig, and other fluff. He’s been a “weatherman” there for decades now.

Real meteorologists are scientists, and are seldom on television.

I don’t know if I’d say that about “real meteorologists” not being on television.

The weatherman on Houston’s CBS affiliate, Dr. Neil Frank is most definitely the real deal- check this link for more:

Currently, NOAA radio in my area is broadcasting the availability of basic/intermediate meteorology on two dates (one in March and one in April), limited to 18 per class. Most of the weathermen on TV and radio have taken a course like that or something similar, as Nametagsaid. However, some have master’s degrees and doctorates in meteorology.

Yes, but that is not true for the WeatherChannel.

We had WGN on cable until recently, when Comcast in this area decided to eliminate it. What a pity! I would enjoy watching Tom Skilling, who I remember quite well when I lived in Chicago. OTOH, now I cannot watch the Cub games. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. :slight_smile:

What, did someone redefine “seldom” while I was out of the office? Does it mean “never” now?

Meteorologists are frequently on the WeatherChannel. That being so, how can they seldom be on TV?