Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Weather.

I have always been a bit puzzled by our fascination with the weather.

By "our," I mean the average American living in or near a large city, and not the farmer who depends on the right weather conditions for his livelihood. Weather to him means prosperity or poverty.

But for the rest of us: Why do a half-dozen local television stations have a weather segment in the morning, mid-day, evening, and late-evening news? Personally, my interest could be satisfied with one statement, once a day: "it's 65 in the DFW area and no precipitation expected." Or on the average summer day, "same hellish temperatures as yesterday, we'll let you know when it changes"

Who cares about the two degree difference between Dallas and Denton? How many viewers understand what a high pressure system is, or what a thirty percent chance of precipitation means?  Thirty percent of what? How dependable is the fifth day of a five day forecast? Not very, I say.

Then there is the Weather Channel itself and its "more meteorological than thou" attitude. Honestly, I hate the Weather Channel. Smug WASP bastards. They act like it is their weather, that they understand the hidden secrets of weather forecasting, and that they will dispense their wisdom to the lowly masses as an act of kindness.  Like Prometheus bringing us fire. 

And another thing. I don't like the newsman's restrained excitement when the weather is really bad, like in a hurricane. It seems to me that they are enjoying the spotlight a little too much.  And, during those extreme weather days, the channel plays one commercial after another because that's when people are watching. There's something about profiting from the demise of others that bothers me.  But the entire news business seems that way. Sharks feeding on minnows.

But enough of them.

I understand putting a temperature gauge in your backyard, or even a weather vane. I understand looking out the window to see if it's going to rain, or whether it will be cold or hot, mild or muggy.  All perfectly understandable actions to satisfy our curiosity.

"Normal May temperatures in DFW today, about 85 degrees, cloudy, but no rain expected."

What else do I need to know?


Stephanie said...

my pet peeve is when they preempt television shows to say that it is raining over and over and over again. okay, we get it. there is a tornado watch and some hail, great. just scroll it at the bottom of the screen instead of cut into my program!! geez!

Francis Shivone said...

I'm with you Stephanie. Nice pictures on your blog, too.

Lynn said...

Agree with you about 97%, and I always liked Troy Dungan, back when I watched TV.

Francis Shivone said...

97%? That's more than I agree with and I wrote it.

Just Me Saying said...

Nice post! The late George Carlin said something one time about The Weather Channel. He said we call it "the window!"

Francis Shivone said...

Just Me -- Carlin had the comic's insight into our odd ways. Nobody quite like him. He loved to tweek the news media. Some of his stuff is rollover funny. Thanks.