[EDITORIALS]‘Oops’ from weathermenPeople who headed outdoors trusting Saturday’s forecast from the Korea Meteorological Administration, which predicted that yellow dust would wane in the afternoon, had to spend the whole day fighting off the unwelcome haze and losing their tempers at the administration’s late response. All the administration did was provide real-time information regarding the dust. It was lucky that there was no school, or there would have been bigger problems.
Weather forecasters explained that they were unable to predict the dust storm because it came from northern Manchuria, unlike most cases that start in Inner Mongolia. In other words, the forecasting agency acknowledged that it had been caught totally unprepared.
The yellow dust phenomenon is worsening year after year due to increases in environmental damage in China. The dust affects Korea not only in the spring, but also in fall and winter. The winds are harmful to health; they contain minute dust particles along with heavy metals. But it is difficult to block out the suspicion that the government and the Korea Meteorological Administration lack any countermeasures to fight off the phenomenon. Only last year did they establish monitoring facilities in China and start to receive information about yellow dust. But with the equipment heavily focused on Inner Mongolia, they are left helpless when the yellow dust begins in Manchuria. Experts also point out that no information exchange with North Korea occurs regarding the matter.
We understand the difficulties in perfectly forecasting the weather and other natural phenomena. Even considering that fact, however, the frequency of inaccurate weather forecasts these days is unreasonable. Some people are even sarcastically calling the administration the “weather recording administration.” Accurate weather forecasts are essential for the health and safety of the Korean people.
The administration must stop putting the blame on a lack of personnel and equipment and organize effective measures to prevent future mistakes.