What is the difference between a meteorologist and a forecaster?
I really wants to commend your efforts on this recording and all your findings. More grace
Hi Linda, To answer your question, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) defines a meteorologist as "an individual with specialized education (a bachelor's or higher degree in meteorology or an atmospheric science) who uses scientific principles to explain, understand, observe or forecast the earth's atmospheric phenomena..."
By contrast, the AMS defines a forecasters or weathercasters as "individuals who have little formal education in the atmospheric sciences, or who have taken only industry survey courses, and who disseminate weather information and forecasts prepared by others."
Of course, this might differ slightly from WJLA's definition, but the bottom line is that a meteorologist typically has more formal training than does a weather forecaster.
In my humble opinion, the bigger question related to the WJLA site (which admittedly is the hands-down best weather website in the local DC market), is why are its meteorologists/forecasters/bloggers all a bunch of pasty white guys? Really. Check out the list of online/on-air "voices." Not a single woman or a person of color in the entire group of 13. (And I note this as a pasty white guy myself.)
Again, this is a great site. And the pasty white guys deserve a lot of credit for that. But you can't add a single woman or minority into the ranks? Come on. It's 2011, not 1951. A little diversity could do wonders for your ratings and clickthroughts. Give it a try! :)