Meteorologists do not get rid of the recurring theme of time when they go in the elevator or are among friends, but they flee from the technical and try to liven up the moment with anecdotes, jokes or jokes of the profession.
Ángel Rivera worked for 38 years at the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), the last seven as spokesman, when he discovered that the meteorologists’ effort to communicate time has contributed to “putting it in fashion”.
What do meteorologists talk about?
“No matter how city we are, we have the need of contact with nature and the weather information brings us closer to it,” said this expert, co-author with meteorologist Beatriz Hervella of the book “The timeshare: dialogues of meteorologists” , in which they reveal some of the unknown aspects of this popular discipline.
Both talk over 240 pages about their passion for predicting the time and the frustration of not being able to change it when it is adverse, of the need to communicate correctly or of the other uses of predictions since the irruption of the internet, massive access to the sources of information or social networks.
“Meteorologists also talk about time in the elevator and in our daily lives, but not predictions, I would tell you some curiosity, like the size of your nose, can indicate if your ancestors went cold,” he said in an interview with Efe Beatriz Hervella, graduated in particle physics.
The growing interest in time
For this expert, founder of MeteoGalicia and for a decade presenting weather information on Galician television, citizens hardly make mistakes when talking about time; “You are very well informed, glad to hear”.
“Since the arrival of the Internet it is easier to be self-taught, it opened an incredible field that with social networks finished exploding, and now we all speak, one on one, academic or not, and whoever does not want to do it will miss the train,” insured.
For Angel Rivera, first president of the Association of Meteorology Communicators (ACOMET), there is a growing interest of the viewer for weather information because “it is realizing what is happening with the weather.”
But the quality of the predictions has also influenced, the presentations are more attractive and the participation of the public with photos or videos is increasing; “The conditions for perfect communication are given”, he underlined.
Rivera has regretted however that some media broadcast alarming messages for winning a headline; “You have to know what you’re talking about when you cite hurricanes, tornadoes or explosive cyclogenesis and prevent false information from creating unnecessary problems.”
In this sense, he has defended the need for weather information to be disclosed by a meteorologist with skills as a communicator, although there may also be journalists very well trained in meteorology; “The important thing is to know how to speak and know what you are talking about”.
For Beatriz Hervella, the advantage that this work is performed by a meteorologist is that “it is not subordinated to anyone, it produces its own meteorological information and is a prescriber in its field, while a journalist is subject to the information sent to him”.
The evolution of the prediction
This, his fourth book, “has two originalities, its structure in the form of dialogue and the fact that it addresses meteorology from the perspective of two generations that in turn come from very different institutions.”
“I contribute the veteran vision – she has explained – but the freshness and creativity of Beatriz is infinite, she applies the prediction to anything, contemplates many ways of communicating, although we were surprised that we were more in agreement than we thought”.
For Beatriz, Ángel “is like when you arrive at the grandparents’ house in the summer, you go up to the attic and discover a new closet full of secret things, you open a drawer and there is another compartment, a story that connects with another.”
And he has recognized that in meteorology “there were many things to change, the language was too stiff, even military, and now it is more simplistic, more every day, the new generations have broken with the encorsetamiento and we have approached the real needs of the people”.
Challenges for the future
Although “much remains to be done”, both authors have agreed, and Angel Rivera is missing some mobile application that unifies the message of all services associated with meteorologies, such as the Aemet, the DGT or Civil Protection.
“We must coordinate to give a unique and forceful message because people are not so interested in what is going to rain, but if that rain is going to complicate your routine and what you have to do to avoid major problems,” he said.
And he has called for a “law of meteorology that distributes game”, because, although the Aemet has a coordinated service of delegations, “we do not get as close to autonomy as an autonomous service does”.
A meteorological museum
For Angel Rivera, it would be very good if Spain had a meteorological museum, “beyond the traveling exhibitions that the Aemet does”, where the evolution from the most ancestral methods of prediction to modern technology can be seen.
Some of those ancient methods, often based on astronomical prediction models, still survive; “The astrometeorologists have been successful many times and deserve all respect, anyone who works with seriousness and honesty deserves it, another thing is that you do not agree or do not know the technique and you can doubt.”
“I believe that his successes have not been coincidence, because in nature everything is connected”, he explained; “We are subjected to cosmic radiations that come from different points and influence the changes of time; You have to be humble, life is all probability and the relationships between some things and others are there and you have to respect them, “he said.
Rivera has mentioned the installations of the Aemet in the Parque del Retiro as a possible location for that meteorological museum; “There the first Spanish meteorological service worked and it would be very visited, given the interest that man has always had for knowing the atmosphere”.