What you can do to help 'STOP' weather misinformation

NOW: What you can do to help ’STOP’ weather misinformation

It's important to have a trusted source of weather forecasts and ABC57's Meteorologist, Dave Caulfield, is working on the acronym of "STOP" on how not to fall victim to weather misinformation.

Often when you see these weather maps on social media, there are bright colors or huge numbers, but do you really know what you’re looking at?

Usually, it’s one particular model showing a scenario very far in the future that won't happen.

Looking at not just the what, but the why, and the impacts of the weather heading your way is what sets meteorologists apart from the rest of the crowd.

Meteorologists like Matt Rudkin, our partners at the National Weather Service, and my colleagues at ABC57 News are all on the same team, fighting weather misinformation.

Meteorologist, Matt Rudkin, elaborated on what further differentiates experts, "The difference between someone who posts that for likes and clicks and shares and to create anxiety, and an actual meteorologist is, we interpret things using our experience of the past to derive a forecast."

The full acronym goes as follows.

S - SOURCE: Having a trusted source of information that you know is reliable is crucial.

T - TIMING: Timing is everything, so ask yourself, "When is this forecast for?", "How long does this map or forecast cover?", and "When is the snow or cold going to arrive?", when you see a post on social media. 

O - OVERDONE: As in, "Is this forecast overdone?" or "Does it seem too good to be true?". If you’re asking yourself these questions, it’s best to see if another trusted source is saying something similar. 

P - PURPOSE: What is the purpose of this post or update? If the answer is to inform or make you aware, then great. But, if it’s to scare you or to garner likes and shares, then it’s probably not worth your time. 

If you keep these things in mind, you can “STOP” the weather misinformation.

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