Forecasters were fired in Hungary for incorrect weather forecast on a national holiday

Anhelina Sheremet

Two of Hungaryʼs leading meteorologists have been fired over an erroneous weather forecast that caused a political uproar. This is reported by the BBC.

The country had announced the "biggest fireworks display in Europe"; to celebrate the national holiday of St. Stephenʼs Day on Saturday, August 20, but the government postponed the event seven hours before it was scheduled to start, citing extreme weather warnings of downpours.

The government had to postpone the event for a week, and the predicted downpour passed by the capital. The service issued a public apology, explaining that the "least likely" outcome occurred and that uncertainty is part of weather forecasting. This situation led to the dismissal of the head and deputy head of the National Meteorological Service.

The reaction in Hungary to the dismissal of the officials of the weather service was mixed. In addition, about 100 000 people signed a petition calling for the cancellation of fireworks during the war in neighboring Ukraine and the introduction of austerity measures at home. Supporters of the government, however, are furious at the alleged incompetence of forecasters and hope that the fireworks will take place next Saturday, August 27.