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Note: This blog is on hiatus.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Weather-hype Channel: Better covering 'Sandy'?

Thank you to all readers who drop by.... but we're rather tiny here (at this blog) and we know it.  So, what we "output" (nouns as verbs....so annoying) may ultimately not be of monumental import.

This website was a bit harsh recently concerning perceived (storm) 'hype-fests' at the famous The Weather Channel. (No affiliation.) A link is provided to that post for those who care to review it (new window opens): http://someguyhumorbeta.blogspot.com/2012/08/just-sayin-weather-hype-channel-hasnt.html

"Superstorm" Sandy has whipped various weather outlets up into a veritable frenzy... for days now.  How has the redoubtable The Weather Channel handled the event (overall)??


Image: NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of the massive Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 28 at 1302 UTC (9:02 a.m. EDT). The line of clouds from the Gulf of Mexico north are associated with the cold front that Sandy is merging with. Sandy's western cloud edge is already over the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States. Credit: NASA GOES Project


Main observation (it's a weather pun): 'Sandy' was so large, massive, terrifying, nasty....WHATEVER....that no EGO at The Weather Channel could really top it. Or overcome it (this time).  That is a 'given'. Sandy overwhelmed even those....It was one BIG storm. Related note: On that outlet's web page the fronting individuals are -- and have been for awhile -- referred to as "personalities".

Insert: Yes, The Weather Channel and other weather sources essentially got the storm size, intensity, and - eventually - the path correct. Don't quite know 'whether' to praise them, or maybe more the "European (computer forecast) model" ....

(Continuing:)  (The generally terrific) On-camera (Weather Channel) meteorologist Vivian Brown was quoted here as noting:
“We want you to know we are not hyping this storm, OK?... We don’t do that at The Weather Channel because we want you to be alert and aware.”
O-kaaaayy.....(BTW, I'm strangely inclined to believe anything Vivian says. Maybe even that(?).)
Despite perhaps a few too many "unprecedenteds" and "epics" thrown out, in hindsight (it seems) we must conclude that The Weather Channel offered an important service by forewarning millions of the impending storm and it's likely effects. (We know some important messages need to be repeated  (w/attention-getting words) to reach some who need to be reached....)  A number of during-the-storm reports were "worthy" as well... this time.

....And the 'round-the-clock post-storm coverage (there) has generally been informative, sometimes helpful, and usually not too amped-up.  FWIW: IMO, this 'personality' (link) in particular has put in some serious prime-time hours, and seems -- happily -- "easy to take"(!).

We'll see how things proceed at the weather "mega-source"...especially when they begin their own naming of winter storms.
(I can think of a few suggestions.....E.g., please don't name one after 'Cantore' . That would be ALL (that) the rest of the weather-weary world would need....)

  P.S. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief (link, new window)NO affiliation with this website.

P.P.S. Especially for media/Internet-heavy urban/suburban areas -- like many adversely affected by 'Sandy' -- why exactly is there a real need for 'The Weather Channel' at all?? (Television version, at least.) Competent local (TV) meteorologists have access to the same computer models and other tools . The NHC is just a web-click away. Plus, experienced local weather forecasters can sometimes better adjust or "tailor" outlooks for their particular area. (E.g., taking into account (and projecting for) various area elevation differences.) 
The forecasting aspect of Weather Channel - in these cases - seems both redundant and likely not as fine-tuned/high quality for a/any specific area. Kind of like a "Wal-Mart for weather", vs. your local hardware store... I.e.; local TV weather experts. (TWC = "One-stop weather"??)

Anyone (still) interested can ponder that one a bit. I keep being drawn back to "it is essentially  weather as entertainment" as a primary 'answer'... for the TV channel's continued existence.

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