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No Need For A Drought To Get People Mad At Weatherman, Meteorologists Say With PM-Drought

June 18, 1988

No Need For A Drought To Get People Mad At Weatherman, Meteorologists Say With PM-Drought Rdp, Bjt

CHICAGO (AP) _ Not everyone is complaining about the drought baking farmland and stranding river barges, say TV weather forecasters, who say they’re prepared to take the heat for any kind of weather.

″No matter what you do, you can’t win,″ said Andy Avalos of WLS-TV in Chicago, who added that some people are enjoying the sunny weather and 90- degree temperatures accompanying the dry spell.

Avalos was among about 200 forecasters who converged Friday morning on a downtown hotel for the American Meteorological Society’s 18th Conference on Broadcast Meteorology.

Forecasters may sometimes have trouble predicting the weather, but they know they can expect scattered complaints under any conditions.

″Always, no matter what the weather is, there is someone unhappy with it,″ said Gail Lynne of KLFY-TV in Lafayette, La., a five-year veteran of television forecasting.

‴It’s too hot, too dry, too humid,‴ she said, quoting complaints she has heard.

″Most people get quite angry,″ said Avalos, a 12-year veteran of weather prediction.

″They always blame the weatherman when the weatherman is wrong, of course,″ he added with a grin. ″And they always blame the weatherman when the weather is lousy. And you can’t please everybody, regardless of what the forecast is, no matter how accurate you are.″

The meeting featured three days of sessions ranging from ″Numerical Probabilities in Weather Forecasting″ and ″Four-Dimensional Rendering of Satellite Data″ to ″The Weather and Politics: Who Wins Elections When the Weather Turns Bad?″

″I don’t think there’s anything specifically on the program that’s drought-related,″ said Cheryll Jones of WAGA-TV and Cable News Network in Atlanta, where drought has necessitated water rationing.

″But I’m sure before the whole thing is over with, in some of the sessions, it will be mentioned and discussed,″ she said. ″There’s always a lot of information to be learned at a conference like this.″

Everybody wants to know when it’s going to rain, said Eric Nefstead of WREX-TV in Rockford, who has been doing weather for 15 years.

″They ask you every day, ’Well, what’s new today? You know, is there any hope?‴ he said.

Added Ms. Jones, ″It’s real frustrating this time of the year, when you have the ... spotty type of showers and thundershowers, and you can’t promise everyone that they’ll get one.

″And when they do come, they’re so sparse and they’re so insignificant that in terms of the overall water needs, it’s a big letdown,″ she said, speaking from her 10 years of forecasting experience.

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