Sunday, March 22, 2009
"TV weather" poll
Do you think TV weather segments are science or entertainment?
Everybody talks about the weather. It's an integral part of local news programs. This city caters to all four major networks and has very competitive weather forecasting systems. All the channels have invested heavily in equipment: Sophisticated computer models and cameras throughout the city. Helicopters are frequently used, especially as we are moving into the severe weather season. High drama indeed to witness ominous clouds and the actual formation of a tornado and even better to follow it on the ground as it destroys terrestrial structures. Hollywood could not even compete. Strong words of caution and concern emanate when the roads are covered with ice and snow and we have the visuals to prove it. We have "chief" meteorologists, "subordinate" meteorologists, and weekend "lackeys". The big guns are pulled in wearing casual clothes and shirt sleeves rolled up to tell us, allegedly, when the violent weather will strike my block...and that it is raining--the computer model says so. The sets are elaborate--chock full of scientific goodies and the graphics are spectacular...There's the "hook" echo on that red blotch--head for the basement. I am sure these are qualified weather geeks and all look impressive but lets face it, the science is minimal and the drama and showmanship are high. Everybody talks about the weather...and we are entertained.