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March 13, 2017

Updated weather forecast sparks Twitter spat between Philly-area meteorologists

Social Media Weather
03132017_Twitter_Bombogenesis PhillyVoice illustration/Source: Twitter


The wrath of winter is coming, which means meteorologists are busy trying to keep up with the latest weather models to determine the storm's potential impact. In today's digital world, it also means stressed-out weatherpersons' tempers can flare on social media.

Forecast: Snowfall amounts hiked for most of Philadelphia region

Philadelphia-area Twitter users are accustomed to witnessing public figures show their emotions, even when those feelings aren't appropriate for public consumption. Like when Pennsylvania Sen. Daylin Leach opened eyes when he called President Donald Trump a "fascist, loofa-faced s***-gibbon." Or when Mara Wilson, the actress who portrayed "Matilda," ruffled Philadelphians' feathers when she called them "a**holes." How about when porn star Mia Khalifa swallowed her pride when 76ers center Joel Embiid shut her down for calling the team losers?

Obviously, the fields of sports, politics and entertainment are ripe for opportunities for people to lose their cool. But surely, meteorology is filled with professionals who stay above the fray, right?


While we can't be positive how much snow will fall, this week's impending nor'easter proved that meteorologists can let loose on Twitter, too.

On Monday, hours before the first snowflake will fall from the sky, Gary Szatkowski, a recently retired chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service, and 6ABC meteorologist Chris Sowers punched out some feisty tweets about the outlets' storm coverage.

NWS forecasters have been updating their projections about every 12 hours. Those forecasts have generally hovered around 8 to 12 inches in the Philly area. The latest release, provided at 5 a.m. on Monday, pinpointed the figure at 12 inches.

Sowers was critical of NWS' frequent updates about a potentially damaging storm:

That didn't sit well with Szatkowski:

And off they went as observers went to get snacks:

Here's the back and forth:

At least Szatkowski and Sowers can agree on one thing. The weather is going to be bad for the next couple days.

Just remember to be careful out there, everyone. And try to be nice to each other on social media.