Meteorologist explains how forecasting has changed over the years

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Watches and warnings are issued ahead of bad weather. From meteorologists with the National Weather Service to our trained weather staff, staying calm and keeping you safe is the priority.

Research over the years has made a big difference in early warnings. And, now professors at Mississippi State are teaching in the field and in the lab with the latest equipment.

You are watching the kind of television that just might save your life.

Trained scientists like meteorologists study the weather for days in advance in an effort to keep their viewers safe when there is severe weather.

The way meteorologists forecast storms continues to evolve with advances in science and tech.

MSU assistant Clinical Professor for Meteorology Dr. Barrett Gutter says the change in forecasting boils down to one thing.

“Well, the biggest difference is technology. Technology has given us a lot more information. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. because I think sometimes with all of the information we’re getting we are constantly looking for the newest model around or the newest data coming out, ” said Gutter.

Now meteorologists can pick up their computers on the go and do the forecast anywhere they would like.

“We now have laptops and we’re getting data in constantly and they would go and maybe go to a hotel plug a landline into their computer and maybe look at a few maps and make their forecast off of that. There was no looking at models to see ok where is the storm going to be at this time. The art of forecasting has changed dramatically. Whereas back 15-20 years ago you were much more limited and the data you were getting Let’s think before you had these high-tech computers that were running millions of calculations to give us a weather forecast.. you’re looking at surface charts, ” said Gutter.

Gutter said learning and forecasting the weather was and still is an art.

“It was truly an art back in the day I feel like and now it’s gone from a better understanding of the biases in these models in the data that we’re provided If you look at your true hardcore forecast from back in the day it was a combination of science and art,” said Gutter.

A life-saving combination.

Gutter said that ways of forecasting have changed but they are constantly looking for better and faster ways to give a more accurate forecast to keep others safe from severe weather.

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