How much "forecasting" does the weather man really do?

When Mr. Weather Man is going on about what the weather is going to do for the next few days, how much of this information is likely to be his own creation based on raw data? As opposed to say, hitting up several internet weather sites and cobbling together a reasonable approximation of what’s going on out there?

It depends on the weatherman. They get predictions and all kinds of info from the national weather service. Some of them just spit out what the weather service provides. Others with more experience may recognize patterns based on years of looking at weather maps and knowing their particular area very well. They may choose to alter the prediction from the national weather service.

They get the raw data from the national weather service and perhaps additional data from local radar stations and airports. They don’t need to go internet surfing.

It’s not just the national weather service. There are a number of private forecasting firms that do the heavy lifting of crunching the national numbers and providing local feeds to various stations. And in most markets today, the on-air people have actual degrees in meteorology and can interpret their local quadruple doppler ultra-wide-width narrow-casted point-based data, or whatever.

It’s a fairly sophisticated service these days. Probably more professional than local news, if you want to be cynical.

I interned at a local news station while in college and the weatherman there actually did a lot of his own predicting. He had a degree in meteorology and I always found it so fascinating learning how he made is predictions.

Many of the weather people on the BBC are actually employees of the (government) Meteorological Office and are on a sort of secondment to the broadcaster. They are all fully qualified meteorologists who use the data from the Met Office to produce their forecasts.

Yep, the BBC ones certainly aren’t just presenters-with-a-map. A few choice chunks from the BBC’s site:

Dan Corbett

Rob McElwee

And the best is Peter Gibbs