Weather experts don’t always get it right. Sometimes the weather is the direct opposite of their prediction. What is the punishment for a misleading prediction? Termination? Perhaps the risk of losing their livelihood could inspire more diligence and accuracy.
Two weather experts in Hungary have lost their jobs after their inaccurate weather forecast led to the cancellation of a fireworks celebration on a national holiday.
When the threat of war cannot override the celebrations, thunderstorm warnings put a rest on the fireworks display. Over 100,000 people had signed a petition, calling for the fireworks in Hungry to be canceled at a time of war in bordering Ukraine and economic struggles.
However, officials still proceeded in planning “Europe’s biggest fireworks display” to celebrate St. Stephen’s Day. Shortly before the start of the scheduled event, the government decided to postpone the event due to extreme weather warnings.
The cancellation was unnecessary as the sound of heavy thunderstorms did not rumble that evening. The thunderstorm that National Meteorological Service had predicted switched direction and struck parts of eastern Hungary instead, leaving the capital city unaffected. The clear skies were an unfortunate plot twist to the head and deputy head of the weather service. Their incorrect prediction left them jobless.
The experts confessed their mistakes with a public apology. They defended their actions citing that the “least likely” outcome happened, and unpredictability is an inevitable aspect of weather forecasting. News flash — they aren’t God to get it right 100% of the time.
Unfortunately, government supporters were angry that the event had to be postponed to the following week. They questioned the expertise of the forecasters. The supporters were disappointed as they got excited to catch a glimpse of the 40,000 fireworks planned to launch from the Danube River in central Budapest. Two million people had to enjoy clear skies that evening without the fireworks.
The weather forecasters will be staring at the skies from the comforts of their homes now.