Spotting fake weather forecasts

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(KAKE) -

Fake weather forecasts are flooding the internet, and they can be hard to spot.

False weather Facebook posts include weather graphics of Hurricane Irma heading into Texas, instead of Florida and photo-shopped pictures of Hurricane Harvey have gone viral.

KAKE's team of trained meteorologists say the danger with false forecasts is it can cause panic and confusion.

"Weather forecasts today are more accurate than they ever have been. But fake weather leaves people with the perception that they're not," said Meteorologist Jay Prater, CBM. 

What confuses most people is the posts look like they're from reliable sources. 

"If there's lots of weather terminology in it they're trying to make you think either they're smarter than they are or that they have the credentials," said Meteorologist Frank Waugh, CBM.

Fake weather is meant to suck you in by posting worst-case scenarios.

"They pick one model to show you. And that's often a clear give-away that the information may be a bit fishy because there are numerous models out there. They pick the one that fits their point and it's often the most dramatic, " Waugh said.

Prater reminds viewers that the people who post misleading weather forecasts don't have a code of ethics they have to abide by, but only concern themselves with the "likes" and "shares" they receive on social media.

So, how can you spot fake weather?

1. False weather coverage is usually posted by someone with no credentials or name.

2. The language is sensationalized.

3.The posts will focus on extremes or worst-case scenarios.

4. No one can accurately predict specific weather conditions more than seven days out.

5. Most importantly, if you think it's fake, don't share it!

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