Meteorologists have frequently experienced harassment about their forecasts, especially on days when the predictions are difficult and the broadcasters get it wrong, raining on parades or weddings or hayfields. Women meteorologists have especially been targeted for what they wear, how they style their hair, and how much they weigh, and friends in the broadcast field tell me terrible stories about being stalked by obsessed fans. But this recent AP story highlights the latest type of harassment, as meteorologists report about the extremes in weather we are seeing and linking it to the changing climate. I think it’s also a function of the times we live in, where media as a whole receives much less trust from the public than in previous decades and when science and scientists are being attacked for stating uncomfortable facts.

I believe most farmers have a sincere interest in understanding how weather and climate are changing on short and long terms because it affects the long-term viability of their farms and how they manage them to maximize their returns. They want to know about tools they can use to irrigate more effectively and new crops they can grow to take advantage of changing conditions. They appreciate the move to bring better internet to rural areas to take advantage of new information and better access to detailed forecasts, crop insurance, and market information. Farmers are starting to talk about climate change more frequently, too, as posts from the Southern Plains Perspective and other blogs from agricultural producers make clear.

I don’t spend most of my time in this blog talking about climate change because there is a lot of current information that producers need to know to manage their crops now and I want to provide that. But I won’t shy away from discussing climate change because I think farmers also need to know what to expect in the future and why we are seeing the extreme weather that occurs more frequently now than in the past. I hope that you will find this information useful. If not, of course, you are free to skip that post and move on to the next one. Discussing weather and climate is one of my great joys and I hope we will always find that in common.

Greg Dial is a forecaster who has worked for the Weather Service for 29 years. Source: New York Times