Anyone that has spent time in a portion of the United States that experiences occasional severe thunderstorms is familiar with the bevy of weather information that is available. This severe weather coverage can come from local and national television, as well as print and digital media. Its prevalence on social media can be overwhelming at times. We’ve all been bombarded by this, be it in the form of a slight risk area from the Storm Prediction Center, a black box number such as the TORCON, or some other catchy parameter used by a local television outlet.
Some of you will know right away what I am referring to when I reference an ‘apology’. And some of you won’t. If you want to understand the context, or just take a trip down memory lane, google the phrase ‘Gary Szatkowski apology’. Don’t hit enter twice; you may crash ‘the Internets.’ And don’t rush. I’ll wait right here until you are done.
“You cannot predict squat! And you have successfully created the “Culture of Fear” in all your forecasts.”
Accusations of crying wolf, fear mongering and hyping were abound in South Louisiana last week. A difficult forecast met some resistance from the observed weather, but by a meteorologist’s scorecard it could be registered as a hit.
I address this topic at some peril! In many ways, the job description for the TV “Weathercaster” is to simply be the nice friendly person that tells you what the high was, how much rain will fall and what to expect next weekend.
I have found that, especially in recent years, broaching the topic of GLOBAL WARMING can stir up deep emotions within viewers and can bring some rather rough responses via e-mail and Facebook.