WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Fishel: Commitment is scary, even for snowfall amounts

Posted February 26, 2015

Here's what the Feb. 26, 2015, snowstorm left behind.

Please accept my apologies for going AWOL online. I guess I'm still old school in that I am used to using every bit of time I have to look at data, and then sharing that on television.

I'm getting old, and it's harder to teach the old dog new tricks :).

As I reflect on the storm that is currently winding down, and the days that led up to it, I'm wrestling with something. I completely understand that at some point, you have to make a call on what you feel is the most likely scenario. I may very well have been late doing that this time around.

My excuse and/or justification for doing this was, and is, that I try very hard to be honest with everybody about how confident I am in the forecast. We have better tools than ever now to assess that degree of uncertainty. And frankly, I can't remember a situation where there was any more uncertainty than the one last night, even up to the point where the precipitation had started falling!

Committing to numbers in that situation to me is like scheduling a wedding before you've met the girl of your dreams. Twenty five years ago, I was lucky enough to meet that girl, and then eventually did the wedding thing. (But I digress :)).

In any case, we got a lot of questions the past few days about so-and-so calling for this, that and the other. I think this winter alone has proven that the folks that always go with the worst-case scenario are doing so with one thing in mind.

Every once in a blue moon, that approach works. I can promise you that I will never embrace that tactic. I remember my early days of insecurity, and they weren't about public service, but rather about me. Live and learn I guess ...


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Greg Couch Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Lol...your "hard data" is more like wishful thinking by the ignorant.

  • John Dees Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    NC is a very hard place to predict winter weather, which is why these guys get it wrong a lot. Mr. Fishel is at least honest about that in his predictions.
    I wish they were all just as honest about the ability to predict weather, even more so about the global warming farce that somehow manages to stay in the headlines even though story after story provides hard data they are lying about it.

  • Belinda Warrick Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    Greg is human like any other person and gets stuck between a rock and a hard place occasionally. I trust his judgment on the weather. He is an honest man and will admit when he makes mistakes. He is not a magician, a fortune teller, and not a psychic either; just a man doing the best job he can with the tools he has. Sometimes you just have to make a judgment call whether it goes your way or not. Greg you are still my trusted meteorologist and a trustworthy and entertaining weatherman. Don't mess with my Greg!!

  • Kaitlyn Legare Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    This probably isn't the easiest place in the country to forecast the weather. Especially this time of year. Mr. Fishel said we would get a good snow and we got enough to pretty much shut everything down across the whole area. People who want reliable weather forecasters should move to south Florida, where the the weather is the same all year long.

  • Elisabeth Stevens Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    Wow you moderators are really protective over Greg aren't you?

  • Elisabeth Stevens Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    Really Greg! I seem to remember a few months back when YOU predicted so much rain for the NEXT DAY, you said we would be able to refer to Raleigh as "Monsoon City" I do remember you having to apologize for that incident as well.

  • Pamela Huff Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    Greg - you are among the most scientifically talented meteorologist in your field not to mention the most dedicated to your field! Weather prediction is not an exact science, but rather as its name implies a prediction and as such Mother Nature continues to remind of us who is really in charge :). My friends and family rely on your scientific evaluation for the weather every day and have been with you since your first day with WRAL and intend to continue with you and WRAL! Keep up the good work!!

  • John Titor Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    You told us that you really didn't know what was going to happen. There were too many unknowns. You were honest. A dang sight more than I can say for the others. Much respect for the honesty as that's all we can ask for. It is up to us to be prepared regardless of the forecast! Thanks for all that you do to keep us HONESTLY informed...

  • Ronnie Smith Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    I live in Greenville, fortunately we've kept WRAL on our cable, but since the passing of Skip Waters in the fall, we don't have a good source for weather down east---so we turn to Greg Fishel and his team and our never disappointed.

  • Tom Green Feb 26, 2015
    user avatar

    Greg, you've been doing this in Raleigh for 30 years now. You've been doing just fine. No apologetics needed. If people don't trust you by now, they never will. Don't spend any more time worrying about those people.