Saturday, April 5, 2008

Weather forecasters

I’m getting sick of the local TV weather people. I live in a large metropolitan area. We are blessed with about four major stations all vying for viewers. We have been watching the same news program for about twenty years. It used to be the best Dallas station. Then, the news director left for another station. Half the staff went with him. We still like the newscast, but the weather is getting to be too much. The station recently hired a new chief guy. We call him doofus”. That’s close to his real name. He loves to hear himself talk, endlessly. They have tons of graphics, which they love to show off. They still are only about 75 percent accurate on the next days forecast. I’ll even give them 50 percent accuracy for the two and three day forecast. They then forecast out TEN days! Their accuracy, except in the Texas Summer months, is zero. In the summer, I think they are computer generated anyway. Here’s what weather people do during the summer in Texas. They hang at the beach. They have some poor intern using some computer tool to make it look like their clothes change. All they have to do is point to Texas and say “HOT. REAL HOT. Highs in the 90’s to 100’s. Lows, if we are lucky, in the mid sixties”. That’s it. For the months of July through September. I don’t think they show up for work. Then they come back from the beach and start showing us their new graphic toys to tell us they still don’t have a clue what the weather will do past 72 hours.

I think they are also getting kickbacks from the local cities. It’s not enough to tell us that “the region will have highs around 78 to 82 degrees”. Nope. To get their kickbacks, they have to mention the various towns by name. So we get about 2 minutes of this, with graphics flying around.
“Dallas will be 82. Fort Worth will by 80. Down there in Duncanville, you will be 78. Over in Denton, how about 78. In Frisco, you will be 80. Addison is always up there. You will be 82”.
See, kickbacks explain that. Or they just love to rattle off all these town names, as it keeps them on camera even longer.

We had some bad storms blow through this week. Texas Springtime storms. I’ll give it to the weather people, it is tough to forecast when or if the strong storms blow up. This line was close to us and I happened to be home. There was some “rotation” in the clouds, which means a possible tornado. Boy, the news people got on the TV and talked for about three straight hours, except for the commercials! At 6:30 PM, they were STILL showing the tape of the clouds from 3 PM. Shoot, it blew past by 4 and we had sunny weather. But for another two hours, tapes and chatter about the storm. OK, yes, they needed to mention to those towns where the storm headed, to be aware. But guess what, 30 minutes after it went by me, if had dropped to just being a regular Texas thunderstorm. For all I know, he might still be talking about it.

The guy on the AM talk radio, he knows what he’s doing. Three day forecast. I think the TV guy waits and just uses the radio guys forecast, guesses about the last seven days and adds all sorts of graphics.

And collects his kickback.

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