Top Hungary weather experts sacked after faulty prediction forces fireworks cancellation

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After the NMS had predicted thunderstorms and wind gusts in the capital, the fireworks, which were organised to display ‘Hungary’s millennial state’ had to be cancelled.

Top Hungary weather experts sacked after faulty prediction forces fireworks cancellation

The fireworks display was set to take place on the banks of the Danube in Budapest (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

Two top weather experts in Hungary have been sacked over a mistaken weather forecast. The Hungarian government has sacked the head of the National Meteorological Service (NMS) and her deputy after fireworks to honour the country’s national holiday were postponed due to storm fears. The weather department had predicted storms for Budapest but it missed the capital.

After the NMS had predicted thunderstorms and wind gusts in the capital, the fireworks, which were organised to display ‘Hungary’s millennial state’ had to be cancelled. Following this, Hungary Technology minister Lazlo Palkovics sacked president Kornelia Radics and her deputy Gyula Horvath from their duties on Monday without stating any reason.

FIREWORKS CANCELLED

The fireworks show along the Danube River in Budapest — billed as the largest display in Europe — was called off Saturday afternoon based on forecasts. The forecasts had said that extreme weather was likely to start around 9 p.m. start time. Around 40,000 fireworks were ready to be launched from 240 points along a 5 km stretch in Budapest.

The display has been rescheduled for later this week.

Pro-government media slammed NMS for their faulty forecast. Online newspaper Origo said the agency had given “misleading information about the extent of the bad weather, which misled the operation team responsible for security”, news agency AFP reported.

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NMS TENDERS APOLOGY

Meanwhile, the NMS agency tendered an apology, citing, “a factor of uncertainty inherent in the profession.” In a Facebook post, it said that the “least likely” outcome happened, and that uncertainty is part of weather forecasting.

Meanwhile, the government has also faced the ire of the opposition over fireworks as they termed it as a ‘useless waste of money’ when the country’s economy is struggling and Ukraine is at war. More than 2,00,000 people have signed a petition calling for fireworks to be cancelled.

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