by David Murphy
AccuWeather's headquarters in State College, Pennsylvania, is staffed around-the-clock by teams of operational meteorologists assigned to various parts of the country and the world. At regular intervals, so-called map discussions are held where global patterns and regional storms are discussed and connected. Adjustments to the forecast are made every few hours. A lead regional meteorologist then passes down a detailed discussion to our meteorologists here at Channel 6 where additional adjustments are made based on local observations and whatever's showing up on our radars and computer models.
What I like about this system is that together, Channel 6 and AccuWeather typically have about a half dozen meteorologists with some direct hand on our forecast every broadcast period, with another dozen or more acting in a support role. This is easily the largest group involved in any Delaware Valley television or radio forecast. Why does this matter? Weather is complex and at times, subjective, meaning there are often different ways of interpreting data. Some forecasters tend to be more aggressive, while others are more conservative. It's generally accepted in academia that the more minds you put into a forecast, the better result you're generally going to have, because one forecaster's perspective will invariably add something that another's may not.
Of course, this assumes that your forecasting group is a talented, experienced bunch. Some of our AccuWeather meteorologists have more years of experienceanalyzing Delaware Valley weather than anyone else in local media, on-air or off-air. Others are among the best young talent turned out by Penn State University and other top meteorology schools in recent years. Coupling that with an on-air team that is honed in the art of clear explanation and logical, straight-forward story-telling puts us in a rather unique position to serve viewers.