The Aug. 6 Gazette-Times front-page subheadline "High Pressure Front to Keep Air Stagnant" caught my attention. As a retired meteorologist, I had to wonder what a high pressure front is. So I called the meteorological technician, Gerald Macke, cited in the story.
It turns out, as appears to often be the case, the interviewer got confused and invented a nonsensical term. To me, this represents a gross problem in our society, that is, blinding ignorance of the world around us, in particular the sky and weather.
I don't know the cause of this "fake news;" surely the writer was simply writing far beyond his knowledge and interviewer skill level.
Something else of interest did pop up. I have wondered why Weather Service forecasts call for haze when it is smoke present in the sky.
Haze and smoke differ like rain and hail. Haze is a water-soluble particle while smoke is water repelling with different optical effects. Haze can be seen many clear days on the coast and is not caused by smoke.
It seems the Weather Service dumbed down its definition to resemble dictionary definitions as any obscuring phenomenon short of fog because people didn't believe it was smoke since they couldn't smell smoke.
The general public's atmospheric education is sadly lacking with misstatements and inaccuracies by the media helping drag us down further.
Look up, enjoy the beauty and wonder of the weather and for goodness sake, learn what we scientists know, please, and report it accurately and honestly.
Albany (Aug. 7)