I've been a meteorologist for the past 28 years (US). Yeah, this was a doozy of a mistake; the October 1987 storm was the worst one in modern times to hit the UK.
It's very bad practice to constantly call a worst case scenario, because then you're not doing your job, which is properly evaluating the risk and the potential threat. It's VERY common for broadcast meteorologists in the US to have just a basic undergraduate degree and not keep up with any journals at all. Their skills fade out fast. Others have only a broadcast degree and are just weather readers. In both cases, they don't properly analyze and synthesize in their head all the data, and they stick very closely to long-form NWS forecast discussions, because they don't fully understand what is going on: how the dynamics are coming together in the atmosphere and more importantly how things are interacting. This lack of understanding can lead one to constantly call for the worst "just in case".
A good forecaster has the confidence to target things properly and communicate this in the products. If you make a forecast call while explaining from top to bottom how you arrived at your conclusions, you will always get leeway and respect if the forecast doesn't verify. Meteorology is not engineering as the atmosphere is not a deterministic system. There are always going to be mistakes. It's part of the job. You learn from those mistakes, maybe reanalyze the situation, try to figure out the failure points, try to itemize what you could have done better, and come in better prepared next time.
Let's also keep in mind part of the reason the UK incident is remembered so well is because the storm potential was dismissed in a jovial and very memorable way. If that hadn't happened, this story would have never developed legs right from the start. Professionalism is always what keeps you out of these awkward situations. It's not what you say in your forecast delivery that earns respect, it's how you say it.
For those who are curious to learn more, I have a [YouTube channel](http://www.youtube.com/user/timwxx/
) with live nightly webcasts I'll plug here, but I'm taking a break on it tonight.