Whether we call them weathermen, meteorologists, forecasters or -- based on what's happening outside at the time, an expletive -- the guys who stand in front of the maps on the local news take a lot of abuse.
Some of it is good-natured. Some of it is funny. Some of it is mean-spirited, bordering on cruel.
When the chips are down, though, we need them.
Last night, when severe weather ripped through the area, I flipped around from station to station and watched the pros at work. Almost all of the folks on duty were on the air practically non-stop, explaining the ominous blobs on the radar screen, giving warnings as they came in and imparting information about what happened, what was happening and what was going to happen.
As someone who dabbles in broadcasting, I have an idea how tough that gig can be. Everyone I watched did an outstanding job.
Fortunately, my area was spared the brunt of the storm, though the tornado warning sirens did sound for a little bit. My little one, who is approaching double-digits in age and probably needs a new moniker in blogs like this, was quite frightened and begged me to turn off the "scary" reports.
I tried to explain to her how it was important to keep up with what was happening. I tried to tell her about the science of storms and forecasting and how -- even though it was a bit frightening -- what the people on TV were talking about was important because viewers knew not to leave their homes and to head to the basement if they were in the path of the storm.
By the time the sprout realized that we were safe and our relatives around the area were going to be OK, too, I was glad that we had these folks on the job.
Now, I'm still going to ridicule them for the overblown "stormageddon" coverage of a two-inch dusting of snow. But, we needed information last night and the pros came through.
Special kudos to the reporters playing the role of storm chasers, checking out the damage and let…Read more...