'Terrible weather (forecasting). Isn't it?' - Met Éireann received over 300 complaints in 2019

'Terrible weather (forecasting). Isn't it?' -  Met Éireann received over 300 complaints in 2019

Inaccurate forecasting, an urban focus and weather warnings are among the most frequent causes of complaints from members of the public to Met Éireann.

Transcripts of complaints sent to the national forecaster reveal a huge range of issues were raised in 2019, including frustrated members of the public who think there are too many - or too few - colour-coded weather warnings.

The forecaster was described as the boy who cried wolf. There were claims that the weather warnings are issued so frequently that people simply don't pay them any attention.

There was also a number of complaints about the accuracy of forecasting, with some - including cyclists and hikers - claiming they can no longer rely on Met Éireann's forecasts when planning days out.

Some pointed to Norwegian and Canadian broadcasters as being more accurate, while others said local and amateur forecasters provide more detailed forecasting on social media channels.

Overall, Met Éireann received just over 300 complaints through met.ie, its app or email. It was a significant drop from 2018 when nearly 700 were received. Some simply criticised the frequency of weather warnings.

One said: "The general populous only hear ‘warning’, not yellow, green or amber. You are putting lives at risk and damaging businesses by issuing these fictitious warnings as people will not heed the serious warnings in the future."

Another said that the forecasting was too vague.

"It appears to me that anyone could predict the weather in Ireland. Sunshine, showers, wind. When are you going to give a detailed account of what is going to happen, instead of what has happened?"

In early October, when Storm Lorenzo was forecast to hit Ireland and didn't, people vented their frustration.

"I'm sick of weather warnings, making people afraid and very often it doesn't even materialise," said one complaint.

"Not for the first time your alarming forecasts have not materialized and you have panicked people into unnecessary precautions. I am a taxi driver in Shannon and my takings are down about €150 for tonight. You have overreacted again. Tonight is a normal pleasant October evening and it's not right that you continue to make huge drama over a non-event," said another.

The naming of the storms was also a frequent topic.

On December 8, 2019, one person complained about the name of Storm Atiyah. The storms for 2019/20 were named in conjunction with the Dutch and UK meteorological offices.

The complaint read: "What kind of name is Atiyah for a storm around Ireland? We're not Lebanon. We are Ireland. GO RAIBH MAITH AGAT!!! Cop yourselves on with the names."

Another simply implored Met Éireann to stop naming the storms entirely as nobody would want their name associated with potentially tragic conditions.

There was one much happier correspondence in March, though: "Just wanted to say thanks for naming the storm Gareth as it is my name and you named it on my birthday. Best present ever."

More on this topic

Wind and rain warnings remain in place for seven countiesWind and rain warnings remain in place for seven counties

Letters to the editor: UK to spend £1.2bn on weather technologyLetters to the editor: UK to spend £1.2bn on weather technology

Residents bracing for possible flooding as rainfall warning issuedResidents bracing for possible flooding as rainfall warning issued

Risk of flooding as rainfall warning in effect for nine countiesRisk of flooding as rainfall warning in effect for nine counties


More in this Section

Methadone patients four times more likely to overdose in month following treatment ending, study findsMethadone patients four times more likely to overdose in month following treatment ending, study finds

John Delaney joined as notice party to ODCE application in relation to seized FAI documentsJohn Delaney joined as notice party to ODCE application in relation to seized FAI documents

Court upholds decision to issue deportation order against man convicted of smuggling cocaineCourt upholds decision to issue deportation order against man convicted of smuggling cocaine

Gardaí warn public of 'banking' scam which can empty accounts in minutesGardaí warn public of 'banking' scam which can empty accounts in minutes


Lifestyle

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

Laura Harding goes on location to see where the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma was shotBehind the Scenes: Getting the inside story on the movie Emma

More From The Irish Examiner