Saturday, December 29, 2007

Weather Or Not!

If you live in an area served by multiple news outlets, both broadcast and print, you've no doubt suffered the frustration of questionable weather forecasts. An article in today's Spokesman Review by Michelle Boss, a real meteorologist, columnist and fill in on KREM 2, explained it all. After wondering if we in fact live on a different planet from our three representative TV stations, it would seem perhaps we do.

First, not all the weather is delivered nor determined by a real meteorologist, though all three of our channels do have them on staff. It is sometimes delivered by a weather "anchor". If I get the drift of this, there are several sources from which they get their information. The most probable would be the local National Weather Service if they do not do their own forecasting. The problem is we don't know who is doing what when!

So they take a green screen, jazz up the graphics and go before the camera. They predict winter storm warnings and watches that end mysteriously at county or state lines. And there is never, never weather in Canada!

Now I thought perhaps the problem is location. KREM sits quite a bit higher, on the South Hill, then either KHQ or KXLY but that doesn't figure if they're all using National Weather Service data. But the question lingers as to where the weather "anchors" get their information. Who interprets and prepares their reports? Or do they "wing" it? That serves us well!

But there is more. It would seem non-weather related demands preclude time spent preparing forecasts - like hair and make up and making up those glitzy graphics.

What to do? Buy wheel weights, chains and a snow blower for your lawn tractor. When you get up in the morning look out the window. If the trees are moving it's windy. If the sun is out, it's out. If it's snowing, you know it; if it's not it's likely going to. A thermometer clues you in to temperature. For the winter months that should just about do it.

As for the weather anchors? Perhaps they have a future if they can parlay their lack of expertise into an acting career. Marg Helgenberger did. Of course she's probably one of the best looking redheads on television today, but maybe she is just helped by that hair and make up and...


1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

I like the one where they said if you hang a rock outside in your yard you can tell the weather.
If the rock is white on is snowing..
if the rock is wet then it is raining.
If the rock is swinging, it is windy...
If the rock is swirling... it is a hurrican/tornado...