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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Confessions of a Weather Show Fan

I’m used to be a TV weather show fan. (I was going to say I am a weather buff, but on that side of things I’m a rank amateur, even after years of Meteorological TV.)  My knowledge of climate science remains based on The Little Golden Book of Weather that my Dad gave me when I was studying for a Girl Scouts’ badge.

While I remain devoted to PA Cable Network's Weather World Show, presented by dedicated Penn State Meteorology professors and grad students and showcased here:    http://weatherworld.psu.edu/segments.htm
I've also become fond of The Weather Channel.

I used to truly love The Weather Channel, but lately they are more The Disaster Channel. At first it was fun to see weathermen standing in their sturdy L.L. Bean gear facing down blizzards, floods and hurricanes, but, somehow, now, Bad Weather gets more than it's share of coverage. I suppose, I shouldn't crab. It's a simple fact that a hurricane or blizzard draws a  bigger viewing audience than a sunny day. Advertising, enticingly set before millions of eyes, (here in the wonderful world of capitalism) pays the bills. 

Sometimes--and this is--worse, weather reporting disappears and in its place we are offered "on topic" "Reality” shows. These so-called "Reality" (who are they kidding?) shows are way too like a Philip K. Dick story for me. I suffer, whenever I happen to catch a few minutes of such a show on TV, from a horrible prickle of oh, bloody hell--dystopia's actually happening!

At least Weather Scan still exists among my cable channels, with the original, wooden, low-Def Weather Channel format. Nothing is more perfectly meditative than ten solid minutes of staring at the ever-repeating local temperatures crawling endlessly below those lava-lamp blobs of green and pink that describe a bad day.  Rain showers crossing (and re-crossing) my local area are perfect. Without Weather Scan, I'd be forced to succumb to the beautiful but pointless Ambient channel offerings with their sadly unitary, boring soundtrack. 

And, besides, heck, I can't see the weather there...


~~Juliet Waldron