Weather ain't no kiddie business down here in South Florida. Sure, there's not too much variation when you look out the window — sunny day, sunny day, rain, sunny day, repeat. But especially during the summer season, when the ecological ingredients cooking in the Gulf and Atlantic are basically holding a loaded gun to the region's head thanks to possible hurricanes, weather can be a life or death situation.
So accurate weather reporting is no empty boast. And on the state's west coast, a couple TV stations are beefing over those bragging rights.
It all began with a Facebook post. In the Fort Myers area, John Patrick, the meteorologist at the ABC affiliate WZVN, recently put up a post on his page laying some hard truth on a cross-town rival, WINK.
"I'm noticing more and more that WINK-TV is trying to claim having Southwest Florida's Most Accurate Forecast," WZVN's Patrick wrote. "Simply stated, this is a fabrication."
According to Patrick, his station is the only one in Southwest Florida with the bragging rights. "You will not hear WINK use words like 'verified,' 'certified,' or 'proven' because they can't back up their made up claim," his post states. "I can. I even share this proof with you."
In addition to his written explanation, the brawlin' meteorologist (somebody better grab that copyright quick) uploaded a video to his page in which, in perfect, indomitable weatherman poise, he cheerfully nukes the competitions claims. Patrick says that his station's reports are verified with a third party research company, WeatheRate. The company uses computer software to compare forecasts with the actual observed weather conditions, basically fact checking those predictions against what actually happened.
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As Patrick says, according to WeatheRate, his station has the most accurate reports. "That other station trying to claim Southwest Florida's most accurate forecast is actually third," Patrick states, twisting that knife in further.
"More of you are trusting me and the StormWarn 7 Forecast Team at ABC7 when it comes to getting our weather in SWFL right. WINK has taken notice of this and that's why they are trying to confuse you."
No word on weather WINK has responded to Round One in what could only be an entertaining beef between news stations. Incidentally, over here across the state in South Florida, only one station is certified by WeatheRate — NBC6.