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Still Waters

South African weathermen face jail or fines

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Weather forecasters in South Africa have been threatened with prison if their predictions prove incorrect.

Independent forecasters have been told they could be imprisoned for up to ten years - or fined up to £800,000 - if they issue incorrect severe weather warnings without official permission.

The astonishing threat is contained in a new law designed to prevent panic and economic damage caused by false predictions of gales, flash flooding or drought.

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I don't think I would be issuing any weather warnings without official permission. What's going to happen when they don't issue a weather warning and people end up hurt because of that. I wonder who they will throw in jail over that. I've always heard after two days you are just making a educated guess at what the weather will do.

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Scandalous.

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These charges may have some basis (if there are rogue weathermen running around SA with unfounded warnings of extreme weather to scare the public, some would argue that's what todays scientists are doing with Global Warming) but are extreme to say the least.

I wonder what they would have done to Michael Fish in 1987?

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The Weather Channel in the US is guilty of excessive hype with every hurricane or tropical storm of the season. It's about TV ratings here...the SA issue sounds like government vs private industry wrangling.

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That is just hilarious that an entire Government could be so dimwitted. And frightening at the same time.

So, I hear there are plenty jobs in South Africa for weathermen?

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