Yes, this about the weather. If that’s something that makes you roll your eyes and/or sigh, here are some pictures of adorable dogs!
There’s a quote by Charles Dudley Warner that is often mangled and attributed to Mark Twain: “New England weather – it is a matter about which a great deal is said but very little done.” These days, meteorologists talk about the weather way too much. You ever notice that on the local news now the weather is one of the three top stories, even if there’s nothing going on that’s particularly interesting? But they have to grab those viewers at the top of the show! “Hey Mike, it was a beautiful day today! No storms in site, eh? – That’s right Ed, things look quiet this week. I’ll have more details and the 7-day forecast that will probably change by the end of the week anyway, coming up in about 15 minutes!”
The weather should only be mentioned that early in a newscast if there’s a blizzard coming or it’s 20 degrees in August/90 degrees in January. Anything else can wait until the weather portion of the show. Right before a story on the latest wacky “viral video” everyone is crazy about on that darn Internet.
I bring this up because we’re supposed to get a snowstorm on Wednesday. Now, depending on which computer model you believe – apparently viewers are supposed to be up on computers models now – we’re going to get just rain, a few inches of snow, a mix, or maybe a full blizzard that leaves a half a foot or more. So we could get nothing, something, or a bunch of something, and it could last just one day or spread out over three days? Thanks! I could have told everyone that, and my last name isn’t even Doppler.
I have a theory that weather forecasting isn’t necessarily better today, it’s just that we have more information to work with, so meteorologists can offer more information. Hey, if they mention every possible thing that could happen they can’t be “wrong,” right?
These days, the weather segment on the news isn’t just a weather segment anymore, one person standing in front of a map and telling us what the weather is going to be for the next couple of days. Now we have to be subjected to talk about computer models and satellite photos put in motion to show us clouds coming in from Chicago. We have to have fake radar graphics to show us what the radar might look like in 6, 12, 24, or 36 hours from now (not to be confused with the actual real radar that’s showing us the weather that’s happening this very minute). We have to not only watch a weather segment that lasts too long (and listen to painful banter with the news anchors), we have to see the “weather center,” which is a cross between NASA’s Mission Control and Goldfinger’s secret hideout. And hey, who’s back there in the weather center, looking at monitors and writing things down with his back to the camera? It’s one of the other meteorologists at the station, the one you thought had the day off but had to come in and go over all those computer models to see which one might be right. We have to listen to the weather at the top of the broadcast, 15 minutes into the broadcast, and maybe one last wrap-up of the weather just before the show ends, just in case someone missed it. The weather is the most important thing in the news now.
Sometimes I want to go back to those sliding weather maps they had to write on with magic markers.