Met Eireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack hits back at complaints over 'biased' weather reports
The Head of Forecasting at Met Eireann has hit back after complaints were made across the country over the forecaster’s ‘biased’ weather reports during Storm Eunice.
Evelyn Cusack has said there was nothing biased about the advice issued during the Storm and that everything is data-based.
The complaints date back to coverage of the torrential weather event that hit the country in late 2021.
Storm Eunice left 80,000 homes without power and brought with it gusts of over 160 km/hr coming in off the south coast.
As conditions subsided, there were more than two dozen complaints sent to the meteorology service.
Some were giving out about the specificity of weather warnings being published - which left out certain counties within the same region - with residents questioning how a storm can simply avoid certain counties.
Speaking about this, she said the county boundary complaints came in as a result of Status Red warnings being issued for counties Kerry and Clare, but not Limerick.
Speaking to Newstalk she said Met Éireann issues warnings on a county level even though it is capable of refining them down 2.5kms.
“Trying to put that on a map would be quite difficult and also, each local authority is responsible for defences in their own county,” she explained.
“So, if you have, kind of, half of Clare and you lived on that line, there would be a lot of confusion.
“At the moment the local authorities want us to keep to the counties because then there is one local authority looking at defences - flood defences and storm defences - for each county.
“We do try and refine it by saying the east of the county will be worse in the morning and the west in the afternoon or something like that.”
She went on to say that other claims of a Dublin bias have more to do with the fact that the media is very "Dublin-centric," not the forecaster.
“The media does tend to be Dublin-centric a lot of the time and in fact, I would blame Met Éireann for being the opposite,” she insisted.
“I think we’re more west-oriented.
“If you ever listen in to any of our forecasts it is always about patchy rain in the west or gales in the west and I mean, 1.5 million people in the east.
“A lot of the time the weather is fine and sunny in Dublin and people are ringing us saying what are you talking about, the weather’s fine.
“In some ways, we tend to bias it towards the worse end of the weather a bit.”
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