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Letters to the Editor
 

Ice-pocalypse now redux


Ken Bassett February 11th, 2010

Is it just me, or do the local meteorologists receive way too much air time? Don't get me wrong. They are a valuable tool during tornado season and no doubt save lives. Even recently, they came in han...

Is it just me, or do the local meteorologists receive way too much air time? Don't get me wrong. They are a valuable tool during tornado season and no doubt save lives. Even recently, they came in handy ... to a point.

But wall-to-wall, 24/7, channel to channel coverage of a blizzard and ice storm? Come on, this is Oklahoma. We know what bad weather looks like. If I am stranded in my home because of the weather, a five-minute blurb every hour would suffice.

I recently purchased a 48-inch flatscreen TV. Now I realize I should have bought a 54-inch screen to accommodate all the weather maps in the corners and the "updates" and "breaking news" reports scrolling across both the bottom and top of my TV brought to me by Conn's, Sonic, Mathis Bros. These are the same "updates" and "breaking news" reports I have seen for the last two hours.

It seems to me each and every weather guesser is trying to get one up on the other guy. Do I really need a ruler stuck in the snow to understand what 4 inches of snow looks like? Do I really need to see a bridge railing to understand what 1-inch of ice looks like?

If the governor, Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, EMSA and my local police department are advising me to stay off the roads, do I really need countless weather guessers and news personalities roaming the streets to show me these things? I think not. Don't have the news personnel telling me how dangerous the roads are and that I should stay inside and then show all these mobile units they have out.

Every local meteorologist tries to be too precise with their predictions. During the recent winter storm, each local station had their timelines when the storm would approach and even had geographical bands to show how much snow would be arriving.

Very seldom do their predictions on timelines and bands come to fruition.

Maybe each weather guesser should be forced to show his or her previous day prediction compared to reality. Being a meteorologist is the only profession I know that allows you to be right about half the time and keep your job. I wonder how they can show the seven-day forecast with a straight face when they seldom get tomorrow right. Now one local channel is constantly showing me the temperature in nearly every Oklahoma town. Yep, I need that. Just show me the radar and get back to my regular programming.

During this recent storm, a local weather guesser explained what "freezing fog" meant. Duh! Another refused to say "ice," instead calling it "glaze." Glaze is something my momma put on ham at Christmas. Maybe the "weather man" should quit talking down to his audience.

That is, unless his audience is third graders. No offense, third graders.
"Ken Bassett
Newcastle
 
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