PRedicting an apology

      56 Comments on PRedicting an apology

“Everybody talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.” –– Essayist and Novelist Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900)

blizzardLast week’s snowstorm yielded a couple of unexpected results. Forecasters in New York City who labeled the coming event “potentially historic” and used adjectives such as “devastating” and “crippling” were wrong; in fact, they weren’t even close. After predictions of 2-3 feet of snow, New York’s mayor and the governor effectively shut down the city and parts of the state–roads, subways and trains, and schools were closed. But the storm dropped just over a half a foot of snow in Central Park and only came close to the predictions on Long Island and in New England. Then came the finger-pointing, as some folks were angry that businesses and individuals were hurt by the official “overreaction.” But Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo defended their decisions, saying they were based on the National Weather Service’s forecast. “We got lucky,” said de Blasio in the storm’s aftermath, refusing to apologize for playing it safe.

An unusual apology did come, however, from the National Weather Service (NWS). An agency that rarely acknowledges mistakes, the NWS put on its public relations hat and issued a mea culpa. Meteorologist Gary Szatkowski tweeted,“My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public. You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn’t. Once again, I’m sorry.” NWS Director Louis Uccellini said, “It is incumbent on us to communicate forecast uncertainty. We need to make the uncertainties clear.” Uccellini talked about how the agency will try to use more effective language to avoid similar scenarios in the future.

More than a century after Charles Dudley Warner’s humorous complaint and with all our advanced technology, humans still can’t do anything about the weather, although meteorologists, forecasters and politicians can certainly do better with how they communicate. While the science of forecasting is constantly improving, Mother Nature will always be unpredictable.

But when the National Weather Service gets it wrong, is it a good PR strategy to apologize each time? Your thoughts?

56 thoughts on “PRedicting an apology

  1. Jazmin Corrine Quinci

    I commend the NWS for apologizing over failing to clarify weather reports where doubt exists as to the certainty of a storm(s) arrival. It should be understood that weather changes, storms switch course and may reduce in severity. However making announcements but failing to mention there is the chance of a storm passing over a region deserves acknowledgement. At the same time, I wonder what the consequence would be if the NWS expresses doubt? Will people take the same precautions if they feel a storm may not be as serious as predicted? I’m not sure what the expectation is of the NWS but I don’t feel contemptuous towards them if they make a weather report with skewed data. I sit back and count my blessings when a nor’easter passes over Long Island.

    Reply
  2. Deana Meccariello

    Weather is an unpredictable beast. It is better to be safe then sorry. The National Weather Service should absolutely not apologize to the public. All of our scientific data pointed to such storm occurring.

    Reply
  3. jhasten1

    Fortunately, the storm did not turn out as terrible as it was predicted by the NWS. I found a lot of New Yorkers grateful that we were prepared for the worst and the worst didn’t come true. I don’t think, the NWS needs to apologize every time their predictions are inaccurate, because it is common knowledge that weather forecast predictions could be off sometimes. But in extreme cases, like having the whole city shut down and saying things like the top “5 worst blizzards in New york history,” in my opinion, an the public deserves an apology by the NWS.

    Reply
  4. williamekanem

    Giving an apology each time the National Weather Service gets it wrong would mean creating a separate unit for apology(may be for the first time anywhere). This is because due to the largely uncertain nature of its business, the agency is still going to get it wrong sometimes anyway,
    However, my take from the write up is the realization that the NWS has over the years built the image of “an agency that rarely acknowledges mistakes.”
    Now that it is taking the baby steps of putting on a public relations hat by issuing an apology, the agency as noted by its director, Uccellini, should indeed use more effective language like introducing the element of probability in its forecast, allowing media and business managers do their interpretation. This becomes imperative in its incumbent job of forecasting uncertainty,

    Reply
  5. Rock(Shi Yan)

    This brief text put forward a very interesting question. Beginning last year, news reports about the weather often used some very serious words. such as “devastating” and “crippling”. This phenomenon is really interesting. I think for the individual, warning people could be help them, because people should avoid travel during inclement weather. However, for large companies, such leading companies reported excessive loss is inevitable. NWS apology for speaking citizens may not be very important, but I think the big companies will care about apology from NWS. However, even an apology can not compensate for the loss of coverage brought exaggeration. As Jeff Morosoff said: Mother Nature will always be unpredictable. So I think the apology is not really necessary.

    Reply
  6. kenpow2012

    I find it very unfortunate that New York City was basically shut down because of an over hyped snow storm. But i do not feel the mayor of New York City should apologize. Better safe than sorry

    Reply
  7. hatcherphoto

    I think that this whole issue with the weather is quite entertaining to be honest. People have been making jokes about the accuracy of weathermen since their inception. Why other people have been surprised and offended that the weathermen were wrong YET AGAIN just makes this an absolutely priceless moment to me. What is the definition of insanity again? yeah. People are crazy.

    Reply
  8. Mike Cox

    Of course they shouldn’t apologize every time they get the weather slightly wrong. Even with the advance scientific technology that we do have for predicting the weather the NWS can’t apologize for mother nature every time she does or does not decide to go easy on us. The forecasters did their jobs to a tee, and so did Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo. They’re job is to warn and protect us and they took all the necessary measures to make that happen. Like the Mayor said, “we got lucky”.

    Reply
  9. Grace Finlayson

    Weather is too unpredictable for the National Weather Service to apologize every single time they predicted something wrong. I would not want to work in their Public Relations office If they had to apologize every single time. It would be the most difficult job because every single storm is only predictable up to a certain point. Weather is changing every hour so when predicting a massive storm like the blizzard that happened last week it is difficult to get the prediction 100% accurate.

    Reply
  10. carsoncuevas

    The weather is unpredictable, no matter how you look at it. While an inaccurate forecast has the potential to affect a large group of people, I do not feel the National Weather Service has an obligation to the public to apologize for a “wrong” forecast. I think the NWS’s job is to recognize possible storm patterns and any weather coming our way, based off of the technology they have, and present us with the facts and data as it appears to them. It is then our media and government’s decision as to how we will interpret this hard data and present it to the public. I think it is unfair to blame the NWS for a seemingly wrong forecast when the weather is just too unpredictable and their job is simply to present the data as they see it.

    Reply
  11. Olivia Hayum

    I don’t think it was either party’s fault. The state gov’t had a job to do and is responsible for the cities safety. The NWS is not omnipotent and made a prediction, one that was accurate in other places (Back home they got 40.5 in. in a week). I do not think he NWS should have to apologize everytime they are wrong. In Boston the weatherman is considered good if he is right 25% of the time. It is their job to predict the weather and they did their job. It is unfortunate that they were wrong about NYC and that there was such a disruption but I do not think apologizing will help the situation.

    Reply
  12. Rachel Massaro

    I don’t think it’s necessary for the National Weather Service to issue an apology every time they’re wrong. Weather is unpredictable and I think people should have felt comfort in knowing their city was trying to keep them safe no matter the outcome. I think we live in world today where no matter what people will find a way to blame everyone else for their problems. If the NWS predicted a less severe storm and nothing closed but in fact the storm was severe people would still be mad that it was predicted wrong too.

    Reply
  13. Michele Colletti

    Mother nature is unpredictable. With that being said, no one can or should expect the meteorologists to predict the weather correctly every time. Believe me, I am first to get frustrated when they get the weather wrong but we should be lucky we have the tools and the educated people in this particular field to help us predict the weather at all. I do not believe it is necessary for The National Weather Service to apologize every time they make a mistake with their prediction. In my eyes we took extra precaution for our safety and although the storm wasn’t as bad as we were told, if it was and we decided to take what the NWS said lightly, we would be the ones apologizing.

    Reply
  14. Priyanka Singh

    We live in a nation where saying you’re sorry is the best way to mend the wounds faster. We see this all the time with public figures. When they make a mistake and people start to criticize them, they issue a statement, and many times, it’s an apology. Why? I think it’s easier to appease the public and clear the pathway so you can continue to move forward and get past the issue quicker.
    I agree that it can be frustrating especially with all the technology that exists currently, but at the same time, I think we forget as people that we live on a planet where there are uncertainties and despite all of our advancements, there will still always be things that won’t have 100% answers to. It’s hard to acknowledge uncertainty, but in this case, I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Yes, it was a bit blown out of proportion, but I think that goes beyond just the National Weather Service. The media has to make money somehow and if the weather lends itself to some coverage, of course the media outlets are going to eat it up. It’s an easy way to get viewers to turn on their televisions and watch the broadcasts.
    I think they did the right thing by apologizing this time, because now they can wipe their hands of this situation and move along, but I don’t think it’s necessary to apologize after everything. Every forecast comes with some level of doubt. It’s hard to guarantee anything, but I think it’s better to make a fuss about it and act on the side of caution than have to deal with a bigger crisis of not being prepared for something that is monumentally dangerous, like a blizzard.

    Reply
  15. Marissa L. Slattery

    I do not believe that it is a good PR strategy for the National Weather Service to issue an apology for a forecast which overestimated future impacts. You cannot follow Mother Nature’s Tweets or Facebook updates to take a temperature reading on her mood that day; the weather service can only do their scientific best to track patterns and provide the public with the service of a fair, estimated warning. If the NWS makes a habit of issuing an apology each time their forecasts aren’t accurate, they will quickly become one of the largest employers of PR professionals and largely discredited as a source of authority.

    Likewise, in a potentially dangerous weather situation, it is better for politicians to heed warnings rather than risk being eaten by the wolf. If the storm packed the punch it was forecast to and municipalities, employers, schools and citizens had not been warned as they were, the collateral damage could have much outweighed the impact of what was seen.

    Reply
  16. Katherine Hammer

    I do not believe that the National Weather Service should have to issue an apology in the times that they get the weather wrong. Weather is unpredictable. Even with the latest technology, there are going to be parts of a forecast that are predicted to be more than they turn out to be. However, wouldn’t people want to play it safe? In this case we might not have gotten the amount of snow expected, but it was still a big storm. It’s better to be cautious when it comes to weather because it can change in an instant. I believe it’s always better to play it safe, therefore there was no need for an apology because the National Weather Service did not do anything wrong.

    Reply
  17. Victoria Kotowski

    I do not think an apology was necessary, being that weather is so incredibly unpredictable. That being said, I believe that an apology goes a long way, and I think it was a good PR move to put a statement out to the general public. While people will still continue to complain about this issue, I feel that it may diminish some of the anger people have towards the NWS. One thing that cannot happen though is for them to apologize every time there is a mistake made. This will cause people to expect it and I believe it will make the NWS lose more credibility in a way. If you continue to accept and acknowledge defeat, people begin to take advantage. In this specific case, since so many things were shut down and many lives were directly affected.

    Reply
  18. Melissa

    I don’t think an apology was necessary. As many stated above, weather is unpredictable and can change at a moments notice. It is also impossible to make everyone happy. Predict too much and they are wrong, predict too little and they are wrong, no matter how you cut it someone is bound to complain.

    Reply
  19. elizah9

    One thing I learned from growing up in New York City is that the weather is almost always unpredictable. One day it can be 54 degrees and the next it can be below freezing temperatures. Weather is very tricky and no matter how much technology mankind develops there will always be some sort of mistake when predicting the weather. Mother nature has a mind of her own that doesn’t seem to always collate with the latest weather detectors. As a whole, I feel that NWS shouldn’t have given a public apology because mistakes happen and like the old saying goes, “it is always better to be safe than sorry.” I hope that the public will cut them some slack in the future because they are trying their best to broadcast the most accurate weather updates.

    Reply
  20. Tamara Russo

    I don’t that it is necessary to issue an apology when it comes to weather. You cannot predict the weather! Yes, people were angry that the National Weather Service got it wrong, but isn’t it better to be prepared than not? The NWS would have been worse off in the public eye if they had under predicted the storm, where people wouldn’t have been prepared at all. I think Kimberly said it right, they were damn if they did and damn if they didn’t.

    Reply
  21. Jennifer Im

    An apology from the National Weather Service is understandable, though not necessary. It’s true their prediction was off the mark, and miscalculating the severity of a blizzard affects a far larger scale of individuals than wrongly predicting an evening of rain. However, as several others have stated, meteorology is an imperfect science.
    I feel the PR department of the NWS was simply being cautious. It was a preemptive decision. Had New York denizens or “key decision makers” gotten more riled up over the mistake, an early apology would have certainly reflected better on NWS. From a large organization’s POV, because people get upset over all kinds of petty things, acknowledging the mistake and promising to improve their services always helps. Like with the blizzard, better safe than sorry.

    Reply
  22. Elana

    Yes the weather is going to be unpredictable, but in my opinion, like my father says, you would rather be safe than sorry. The city over prepared its civilians and might have scared them too but that doesn’t mean we should all expect an apology. Of course we want to be able to rely on our nations weather system, however, I respect that they over prepared us rather than make it not such a big deal. If so, I feel as if minor chaos would occur and some people might not know how to handle the weather. On a lighter note, everyone loves a snow day, it is a good excuse to spend time with family and appreciate people around you.

    Reply
  23. Cheyenne Padgett

    It is unrealistic for people to think that any entity can predict the weather 100%. Some areas in Long Island needed the warning because the snow was a problem. Just because some areas were lucky doesn’t mean they should complain. Sot back and enjoy the snow day while exercising safety precautions. There is no need for the NWS to apologize.

    Reply
  24. Rachel Tyler

    The storm may have inconvenienced many people and I can understand why they would be angry with Mayor De Balsio. I do think that it is unnecessary for them to be upset. Weather is unpredictable. It can change instantly. The machines that predict the weather are powerful but they do make mistakes. It was not necessary for the National Weather Service to issue an apology. I think it was nice of them to admit that they did make a mistake but weather changes and people know that. Instead of being angry about the way the storm turned out people should have felt relieved that it was much smaller then it was predicted. The residents of New York should be happy that they were cautious and safe incase things were as bad as was predicted. At the end of the day the NWS was doing their job. They reported the weather which they saw coming. It is because of the NWS that we were able to prepare for the storm rather then being blindsided.

    Reply
  25. Kimberly Minto

    The weather is an unpredictable part of life that much is clear, but people still can’t seem to understand that. In regards to last week’s snowstorm, I agree with de Blasio we were lucky. To be honest I don’t understand why the National Weather Service is apologizing in the first place, the storm was heading right for us and shifted at the last minute. The meteorologists were working with the information they had and the necessary decisions were made. I personally don’t think that the National Weather Service should apologize every time. In my opinion they shouldn’t do so unless they are way off base, and no I am not talking about last week’s snowstorm. I mean if they said they we going to get a blizzard but we had temperatures in the 50’s and sunny. If the decision makers hadn’t acted the way they did and we received the predicted amounts, someone would have been in trouble with the public. As a result of not receiving that much snow and everything and everyone was protected, other people were in trouble, there was no positive side. The public needs to realize nothing is perfect and be thankful, not demanding an apology.

    Reply
  26. Abby Drapeau

    With weather, everyone should know that it can change in an instant. Our machines can only predict so much, meaning that sometimes there are going to be mistakes. I think it was great that The National Weather Service apologized, but I don’t think that it was necessary. If anything, the residents of New York and New England were extra cautious and safe, which is not a bad thing. I think that Mayor De Balsio was right by saying that New York got lucky, because it could have been a lot worse. The NWS can’t be held responsible for the uncertainty of Mother Nature, their job is to use the information that they have to inform the public, which is exactly what they did.

    Reply
  27. Dan Schaefer

    With the ever-expanding world of social media and “trending topics,” an incident like this is to be expected. Whether it be news, weather, sports, or entertainment, individual stories seemed to be beaten into viewers heads from every media outlet. Each outlet wants the most clicks, viewers, etc. With the impending blizzard bearing down on the East Coast, these outlets fought for the most popular headline. In turn, this hyped up the storm, forcing local lawmakers to make drastic decisions. Based on the way meteorologists specifically portrayed the storm online, on TV, and on the radio, they owe these decision makers a very big apology.

    Dan Schaefer

    Reply
  28. Jen O'Malley

    I don’t believe that the National Weather Service must apologize for every inaccurate forecast. The NWS is there to provide us with a prediction so that we may be prepared as best we can. When it comes to weather, a prediction is the best one can ever do, and in the case of last week’s snow storm, that prediction turned out to be false. That being said, I think it would be wise, in order for a weather service to keep itself covered, to stress the fact that their forecast is an inference and not a certainty. This is especially important when reporting on a weather event as significant as last week’s snow storm could have been. NYC being shut down is most likely what has so many up in arms. They were inconvenienced, and they now feel that the inconvenience was unnecessary. People feel that they were nearly quarantined for what turned out to be nothing. Due to this strong public reaction, I think the best strategy would be to acknowledge the discontent in an understanding way, but to also remind the public that the choice was made in their best interest and that the storm could have just as easily been worse than the NWS predicted. Words should be chosen very carefully when addressing this subject because an outright apology would make it look like the NWS is promising not to make mistakes, and it just isn’t possible for a weather service to promise not to make future mistakes. After an event like this one, people should be reminded that weather services have the task of doing their best to provide the most accurate information about one of the most unstable subjects.

    Reply
  29. Gabrielle Furman

    I feel that there is not a need to apologize every time the meteorologists get it wrong. All they can do i just to warn viewers about the weather that is to come. I believe in that you should always be safe than sorry and to take precautions necessary. However, if the meteorologists apologize every time that they get it wrong it takes away their credibility. This is because that every time they report what the weather will be no one will believe what they have to say. Mother nature is very unpredictable and anything could happen at any moment.

    Reply
  30. keyanamichelle13

    I personally don’t see the reason why an apology had to be made. The weather is unpredictable and the National Weather Service makes mistakes just like anyone else in the world. If this situation was vise versa and the National Weather Service underestimated the storm then people would be upset about the lack of warning. It’s better to be over prepared than under.

    Reply
  31. cassidyxmarie

    I believe the apology was given in order to prevent future mistrust. Because the storm fell short of the words used to describe it, NWS and other meteorologists are left behind in what I see as a “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” situation. But, the fable differs from this real life situation because in order to save their reputation as a reliable source for weather information, NWS has decided to own their mistake. Even though it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the mysterious ways of Mother Nature, they still ended up with a frustrated public. In the fable, the boy was too late in owning up to and apologizing for his falsified warnings and actions and the town people refused to believe him any longer. By issuing this apology, NWS has taken the necessary precautions in order to maintain a trusting relationship with their audience. In addition, they are preventing future tragedies if there ever were to be a “potentially historic”, “devastating”, and “crippling” storm.

    Reply
  32. Jess Hershman

    Although the weather is hard to predict, I think it was a good PR move to apologize for the mistake. The reports by the National Weather Service caused an entire city to shut down, as well as numerous school districts and places of employment for a mediocre snowstorm. Storm systems are unpredictable, and that is something that the public needs to understand about meteorology; however, nothing bad could come of the NWS apologizing.

    Reply
  33. Taylla Smith

    I suppose I could understand the desire for an apology. However, in this particular situation, I think the public needs to remember that we were safe. I do believe it would have been much worse if the weatherman did not predict a storm and then we were hit with nasty weather. At the end of the day, better safe and sorry. Possibly for a compromise and to keep everyone happier, I believe the best option for NWS to apologize as a PR technique. But, at the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes.

    Reply
  34. Chris Hoffman

    It’s out of line to expect the National Weather Service- or any meteorologist, for that matter- to issue an apology when they get the weather wrong. It’s just not realistic or ethical. Meteorologists do the best that they can to work with the data and information that they have, and unfortunately, sometimes data can only get you so far. Getting a weather forecast wrong isn’t something that you do with malicious intent, then have to apologize for later. In my opinion, the NWS would actually hurt its image by apologizing every time it got a forecast wrong. It would set a precedent that it has to be perfect every time or else apologize for your actions. This is simply not practical in a field as unpredictable as meteorology.

    Reply
  35. Daylen Orlick

    Personally, I don’t think they should have to apologize every time a weather forecast is not predicted properly. Though there is technology to help make predictions, and see the storm coming, at the end of the day it is still an assumption. They can only do so much to predict it 100%. No matter what happened, at least the city, and people prepared for the worst. Whether we got six inches when they predicted twenty-four, or got twenty four when they predicted six, the National Weather Service would still be in “fault.”

    As for it being a good PR strategy. I think it was a personal decision that the meteorologist apologized, because he felt bad for having the city shut down based off of his predictions. That goes for NWS as well. The NWS just said they have to make “uncertainties clear.” they never stated anything saying “we are sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Reply
  36. Marc Carganilla

    The National Weather Service has always provided us with safety tips and warnings in the past why should they apologize for a simple mistake? Its not like they profited from warning people they have good intentions and are only concerned about the welfare of the general public. There should be no need to apologize cause the Weather Service works to serve the public and to be fair no one can accurately predict the weather its not like a precise science that can pinpoint the exact severity of the storm its all nature. I fail to see any apology to a public that owes them back so much already.

    Reply
  37. Karisa Newkirk

    I honestly don’t think The National Weather Service should have to apologize every time their predictions are off, because clearly no one can predict the weather. Also, if a person makes a mistake and apologizes for it, most likely it is forgiven but if one makes the same mistake over and over again, those “sorry’s” mean nothing and trust is lost. People do not want an apology, they just want whatever it is to be made right. On the other hand, I think most of us understand that the weather can not be easily predicted so it’s forgiven anyway. It’s better to be prepared for the worst than to be told the least and get the worst and not be prepared at all.

    Reply
  38. Christina Michael

    I do not think it is necessary for the National Weather Service to apologize every time the warnings for severe weather are incorrect. Weather is never a reliable thing because we have no control over it so it is hard to push the blame completley on the meteorologists and weathermen. Also in this partiticular case, I think it is better to have been overly cautious and prepared for the snow rather than underprepared which would lead to more dangerous conditions on the road. I live in eastern Long Island which got a great deal more snow than the city so the weathermen’s predictions for the severity of the storm were to some extent true for some areas. While the predictions of the weathermen may have led so some inconveniences, I don’t think it is necessary for the National Weather Service to apologize because the storm is unpredictable and they were trying to keep everyone safe and prepared.

    Reply
  39. Gabrielle Luisi

    I do not believe that it is smart, from a PR standpoint, to apologize every time you are wrong about something. I think we should asks ourselves, what is defined as wrong? Should the NWS really have to apologize for trying to take precautions to keep us safe? I don’t believe so. The weather is something that is unpredictable even for meteorologists because it could change at any moment depending on how mother nature feels. So, if the NSW apologized every time they were wrong, they would be apologizing a lot. There is no need to apologize every time because then it diminishes the credibility of the National Weather Service. If they continue to apologize, it will relay a negative message to the public and sooner or later no one will take their word.

    Reply
  40. Heather Lanci

    I think that it would be difficult for the National Weather Service to apologize every time they predicted something wrong. It wouldn’t only be difficult, it would be pretty unnecessary in my opinion. It’s not fair for people to blame the NWS every time they get something wrong, that’s just how the weather is, unpredictable. If they apologized every time, it would bring more awareness to the fact that they’re wrong pretty often. I think it would be a better strategy to only apologize when truly necessary, like in the case of last week, when their predictions are way off, or have a major effect on many people.

    Reply
  41. Ashley Fazio

    Words like “potentially historic”, “devastating”, and “crippling” are some pretty strong words, especially for a snow storm that was not even close to being that bad. That being said, weather predictions are never 100% accurate, and we as the public need to understand that. Yes, it can be alarming when you hear those descriptive words. I would say the weather forecasters need to be a little more carful with the words they chose to describe things, especially large snow storms. I however was fine with missing a few classes because of the predictions about the storm. Coming from a business point of view, my mother and father both own their own businesses, and I know it can be very difficult and frustrating to cancel work and reschedule patients. I think it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to driving in snow storms. My car does not do well in just a little rain, so there was no way I would be out on the roads during the storm, it is just too dangerous. Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo were not at fault for closing roads and public transpiration. They did the right thing by looking out for the safety of the public. They were only listening to the warnings from the National Weather Services forecast. It was very nice of the NWS meteorologist Gary Szatkowski and director Louis Uccellini to apologize, however it was not their fault. Mother nature will always be unpredictable, and the NWS did the best they could. As I stated earlier, better safe than sorry. Mistakes in the weather forecast happen all the time, this was not the first, and will certainly not be the last. It was a good PR strategy to apologize to the public to let them know they care and are sorry for the inconveniences.

    Reply
  42. Vanessa Felder

    I do not think that it is necessary for NWS to apologize every time. In my opinion, I think that an apology is only appropriate when they fail to warn of a storm that could potentially be life altering. The NWS has no control of the weather – science can only do but so much. Sure, it might have been an inconvenience for some, but I’d rather them be on the safe side than to not say anything at all. Honestly, there is always going to be criticism about the weather report. I don’t see why this one is a big deal. People got an extra day to themselves. Why not just enjoy that fact, and be happy that people are safe indoors?

    Reply
  43. Vanessa Felder

    I do not think that it is necessary for NWS to apologize every time. In my opinion, I think that an apology is only appropriate when they fail to warn of a storm that could potentially be life altering. The NWS has no control of the weather – science can only do but so much. Sure, it might have been an inconvenience for some, but I’d rather them be on the safe side than to not say anything at all. Honestly, there is always going to be criticism about the weather report. I don’t see why this one is a big deal. People got an extra day to themselves. Why not just enjoy that fact, and be happy that people are safe indoors?

    Reply
  44. Shavone Williams

    It is funny that you discussed the National Weather Service’s public apology because it definitely stood out to me during that time. As we all know the weather can be very unpredictable and our government officials trie their best to alert the public. It is kind of a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation. If the NWS did not properly alert the public of the water conditions no one would have been prepared. The last snow storm we had, Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo did not prepare the public for the upcoming storm and everyone was upset. Either way it is very frustrating, let’s see if tomorrow’s “storm” really is going to happen as they predicted.

    Reply
  45. Nicholas Mazzarella

    Professor Morosoff:

    I think that the National Weather Service’s decision to issue an apology was a good PR strategy for the sake of maintaining as much goodwill as possible between the NWS and the public. Had the NWS not acknowledged its mistake, people may have portrayed the government agency as uncaring and might have been further angered. However, I believe that the need to apologize after every mistake can be avoided. Making the uncertainties clearer and using more effective language – the methods to which Louis Uccellini referred – could act as somewhat of an advanced apology. A lot of the time, uncertainty goes hand in hand with weather, so acknowledging every error would be strenuous in this field.

    -Nick Mazzarella

    Reply
  46. Emily Walsh

    This time of the year is always when the weather is the most unpredictable. It is so hard for the NWS to get a clear and accurate report of what the snow will do. I do not think an apology for the weather was necessary because it was all in an effort to keep people safe. I will always stand by the saying “It is better to be safe than sorry” because storms can be very dangerous. I do, however, think that calling this storm “historic” was a stretch. Simply canceling transportation and warning the publics would have sufficed. All in all, I think Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio took the proper precautions by keeping the affected areas safe.

    Reply
  47. afairc1

    I do not think the NWS needs to apologize for getting the weather wrong. While meteorology is a science there is still way to many variables that we can’t predict because mother nature is so unpredictable. When it comes to dangerous weather I would rather be overly prepared for a storm and have things get shut down, then be under prepared and have people get hurt. Yes it can be frustrating to have a storm be over dramatized but in the end at least everyone is safe.

    Reply
  48. Nicole Romeo

    There is no way that a meteorologist can be 100% certain when predicting the weather for days to come. I think people need to realize that people do make mistakes and I thought that apologizing for the recent weather mistake was a good way to go about it. Although an apology was made, it cannot be used every time another mistake is made. The weather is unpredictable and no one should be at fault for releasing the wrong information.

    Reply
  49. Maria Emlano

    I don’t believe the NWS needed to issue an apology because their forecast was wrong; it is best to be safe since no one can ensure 100% accuracy and New England really did get hit with a large storm. However, I think many news stations were in the wrong for over-hyping the whole situation. Many stations had weather reports all day and kept repeating that this would be “colossal” and “historic”. I believe the media could have had better balance by reporting the expected weather without conveying that this would be the end of the world. Because clearly, it wasn’t.

    Reply
  50. Jennifer Pizzurro

    I for one do not think that the NWS needed to issue any apology. Weather is a science and there are a multitude of possible variables to any give situation. I also feel that it was good for the NWS to give us the worst possible scenario. I work full time in Nassau County and live in Suffolk County, it was a real task trying to commute home from the office on Monday afternoon. I was also unable to make it into work the following day because my town received almost 25 inches of snow. In retrospect, Governor Cuomo’s call for a travel ban, to move parking off street and to stay indoors was a form of risk management that allowed people in the communities to stay safe and allowed emergency workers time to clear the roads effectively. I do not believe that the NWS has to apologize for the safety of millions of people. Especially when your company allows you to telecommute on these types of days.

    -Jennifer Pizzurro

    Reply
  51. Paulina Zaferiou

    I do not think that an apology is necessary at all. Weather, by nature, is unpredictable. It is better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to closures and emergency measures. Had the storm actually been as bad as predicted, and the city was not closed down, people would have been annoyed at Mayor De Blasio for not taking precautions for safety. Apologizing after every weather mistake would be detrimental to the NWS in the long run. People understand that weather changes, but if the NWS apologized every time they were wrong, they would lose all credibility with the public. The general public will forget all about this “storm”, and the fact that it was projected to be bigger than it actually was in a few days, an apology was not necessary.

    Reply
  52. Taylor Lawrence

    I think it is definitely a good PR strategy to apologize. People appreciate apologies, rather than it being blown off like the person in fault doesn’t even care. Someone who apologizes for causing any inconvenience is more likely to be respected than someone who pays no attention to their faults. In this case people prepared for the worst, buying supplies and hiding in their homes, when in reality they could have functioned decently after the storm.

    Reply
  53. Ariana Queenan

    I do not think that it is a good PR strategy for the National Weather Service to apologize each and every time that they predict the weather incorrectly, because they will be apologizing everyday! Apologizing frequently cripples an organization’s creditability, because they are repeatedly admitting to negatively impacting the lives of those who depend on them by releasing false information. The NWS is truly stuck in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” type of situation. If the NWS doesn’t give a storm the proper attention major tragedies can occur. Yet, if they give a storm a little bit too much attention they are blamed for making a big deal out of nothing.

    Reply
  54. jheiden1

    I think in this particular case, an apology was necessary. Everything got closed and cancelled, but the storm was no different from any others. In fact, I wouldn’t even call what we had a storm at all. Still, I don’t think an apology is necessary every single time. Weather changes and it is very unpredictable. The weather channels may be inaccurate most of the time, but they typically get it in the ballpark. I can see why certain people would be angry about the recent outcome in New York City, however, I stand by the decision to keep everyone safe. If NYC did risk the storm, they would have been given hell for that too.

    Reply
  55. Rebecca Costa

    Who can actually predict the weather? Being from New Hampshire, unpredictable weather is something we New Englanders have come to accept; every time there is a snowstorm, I have my doubts about the weatherman’s accuracy. I don’t think it is necessary to apologize every time The National Weather Service makes a mistake; storms change directions, winds change their speed and sometime the weathermen just get it wrong. Yes it’s frustrating, but the way I see it, everyone got a nice day off.

    Reply

Leave a Reply