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Tandra Page 1540, Weather Warning

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I’m sitting on my back porch looking out over the yard as the rising sun brightens the Eastern sky.

Chances are better than even you are reading this to learn the bad news about coming weather conditions or possibly to find news about property damage or loss of life as a consequence of unfriendly weather. The promise of bad news brings people running. Bad news sells!

If you see information that you can expect mild temperatures and sunshine in your area, you don’t go rushing to punch in the Weather Channel. Nor do you watch the evening news if the only reports are of pleasant days and family harmony. People rush to news outlets for the promise of bad news and disaster. There is generally good reason this is so. If you know of approaching disaster before hand, you can make rational preparations to protect yourself and loved ones from inconvenience and harm.

Weather predictors know this with the consequence that predictions of coming weather conditions can go over the top. The Weather Channel is fully aware that no one tunes in for weather news on mild and cloudless afternoons. Advertisers who purchase commercial time on the Weather Channel are also aware of this. What is the point of the greatest and most persuasive commercial in the world if no one sees it?

Most weather information centers are financed by ads placed by companies who wish to sell goods and services.

The practical up shot of this is that commercial weather information centers are inspired to make weather news perilous and exciting. In consequence, cold weather temperatures have come to be reported to include “wind chill” which is several degrees cooler than actual temperature and much more exciting. On the other hand summer temperatures are most often reported to include a “heat index” which is several degrees above actual temperature. The result of all this enhancement of weather reports is that weather reports are much more exciting and bring more viewers to the weather information outlets which means more viewers are exposed to the commercials that pay the bills for the weather guys.

What all this means is that normal weather is often reported as extreme and dangerous conditions. Rain showers become dangerous thunderstorms. A light blanket of snow is advertised as a dangerous Winter Storm. All this is nice for the weather people and their advertisers, but it makes actual weather forecasting very unreliable.

As with the “Boy Who Cried Wolf”, it quickly comes to pass that no one believes any longer the words coming from the mouths of the Weather Guys.

“When your moral code is determined by your politics, you have no morals.” -author unknown


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