Thursday, January 21, 2016
Today’s topic? The weather and the people who deliver it to us on television each evening locally. I can’t resist this topic any longer.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve lived in a lot of places, both before I was married and after. Lana and I have moved five times in our 34 years of marriage, which isn’t bad, considering I had moved 16 or 17 times before that.
My point here is that Lana and I and the kids have been strictly in the Midwest the entire 34 years of marriage. We have seen a lot of weather people over the years. We also have traveled a lot and been to different parts of the country and seen the weather people in other sections of the country as well. I’m going to stick my neck out and say that the Midwest is as much of a challenge to these people to forecast the weather as anywhere. We truly have all four seasons and can go to extreme conditions at different times of the year. That is as nice as I’m going to get.
Let’s look at these people. What does it take to become one of these people on TV? A degree in meteorology? That’s what they say. I really wonder. They all look like they do commercials or soap operas. Ever seen a weather person with a scar? A blemish? A zit? Ever seen an ugly one? Do you think in college when they apply, they are looked over and told to go elsewhere if they don’t look like they should be on the on the Bachelor or the Bachelorette?
The person we watch here in Indy is an attractive long haired blonde with dark highlights. She looks like she weighs a little over 100 pounds, with about 147 teeth and she tends to lean back a lot, to overemphasize parts she doesn’t have and to show her perfect posture. My wife, Lana says she uses mousse on her hair. I say she uses 7 cans of hairspray a day. All I know is, you could take this woman by the feet and shove her under furniture and use her as a Swiffer. You name it and it would cling to her head.
Let’s talk about accuracy by these people. We all hear about how much computer technology they all have. Doppler 2000, Wholly Schomolley 6000, Zing Zang Radar 1250. “Our new Radar can see right to the street level and detect rotation.” “Oh Yeah, well, our Radar can see right into your mailbox.” They all spend millions on the latest equipment to help them give us the best possible forecast, but does it help? I don’t know about you, but here is how it goes for us around here. It is snow time right now, so let me give you an idea of how their forecast really translates into real terms;
Dusting- This means from 0 to a foot of snow
1-3 inches This means a dusting
2-4 inches This means either 1 inch or 6-8
3-5 inches This means the storm missed us
6-8 inches This means 2 inches and you went to the store for nothing and school was cancelled needlessly.
Flurries This means we are screwed-at least 10 inches
Here is what I would like to see if I were in charge. I would go simple and cheap. No equipment, just a phone, a window, and a TV with the national Weather Channel on it. My nightly weather person would look a lot like me; old, fat, bald, and ugly. The people need someone they can relate to and trust. Let’s call him Bob.
Bob would look at the Weather Channel to see which way the winds are blowing on the national maps. Let’s say they are coming from the west. Then he would pick the phone and call the affiliate in St. Louis and ask what the weather is doing today there. Bob would then go on TV and report that we would get the same weather tomorrow in Indy. Very simple and much more accurate than now.
In the event of Tornado weather, Bob would NOT go on the air continuously for hours as they all do now, saying the same things over and over. Bob would simply say, “There is a chance we could have a tornado. We’ve been through this before. If you hear something that sounds like a train and you don’t live near tracks, hide in your bath tub.” Now that is sound advice and allows you to watch Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud with Steve Harvey.
Bob beats a human Swiffer any day.