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Gov't mulls regulating work of meteorologists

By Laila Azzeh - Jan 26,2016 - Last updated at Jan 26,2016

AMMAN — The polar front that started affecting the Kingdom this week was accompanied by contradictory weather forecasts that caused confusion among Jordanians, prompting the government to study ways to organise the work of meteorologists.

After decades of operating solely, the Jordan Metrological Department (JMD) is facing competition today from emerging professional and amateur forecasters.

Prior to the latest depression, social media and news websites were inundated with contradictory weather bulletins that puzzled Jordanians.

"You read somewhere that the snowstorm is going to be nothing like we have ever witnessed before, and then you open another website that says that the blizzard will not be strong. We don't know who to believe anymore," Lama Al Jarrah, a private sector employee, said on Tuesday.

According to official sources, plans are under way to identify qualifications that forecasters should enjoy in order to practise the profession.

"This issue affects people's lives; therefore, there are plans to enact legislation that governs the sector," an official source told The Jordan Times on condition of anonymity.

While having multiple weather forecasting sources is a "positive" phenomenon for Waheed Qudah, the bank employee believes that people "should learn how to differentiate between amateur and professional forecasters".

"Arabiaweather.com, for example, is a very credible source, but there are other names that are intruders," he said, adding that "false headlines are usually used by news websites when reporting on weather-related issues".

In previous statements, JMD Director General Mohammad Samawi said people should follow the department's weather updates for accurate forecasts.

 

He added that unlike others who "claim to be weather-savvy, the JMD is fully equipped to give the most accurate readings".

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