Hungarian government fires weather agency chief after erroneous forecast

The Hungarian government has dismissed the top officials of the national meteorological agency (OMSZ) and, although it has not given the reasons, opposition leaders attribute it to an erroneous prediction that led to the modification of national day events.

The Minister of Technology and Industry, Laszlo Palkovics, has limited himself to announcing the dismissal of Kornelia Radics as head of the agency and of her ‘number two’, Gyula Horvath, without revealing the exact reasons for the change.

However, it comes just days after the agency forecast heavy thunderstorms in Budapest on Saturday night — with a 75 to 80 percent chance –. Based on these forecasts, the authorities decided to cancel the fireworks.

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The storm eventually did not arrive, and the pro-government media began to spread the theory that the authorities had received “false” information.

In 2006, five people were killed and more than 300 injured by a storm during the August 20 celebrations. Since then, the government has stuck to the forecasts in deciding the scope of the celebrations.

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