Random question: If there were no weather, what would TV stations have to talk about?
It does help to know whether you need a sweater in the morning or if you should carry an umbrella with you to work. However, I can find that out by sticking my head out the door before I sally forth.
You may argue that farmers need to know if it is going to rain or not. Frankly, most farmers I have had the pleasure of knowing are more accurate forecasters than the TV meteorologists. Still, I’m sure there are some who turn on the TV when they get up just to double check. Because farmers are cautious.
I have two objections to weather forecasts. First, they are too frequent. Some day I am going to keep track of hour many minutes of each hour are spent showing a screen with the temperatures for every town in a hundred-mile radius. I don’t understand the significance of a two-degree variation between my town and the one thirty miles up the road. Tell me once an hour and then go on to something else. Unless there isn’t anything else, which refers back to my opening paragraph.
Second, why the hysteria? The next time someone says “polar vortex” or “arctic blast” I am going to scream “It’s JANUARY! It’s always cold in January because it is winter!” Blizzards can be counted as news, or ten-foot drifts (unless it is in Buffalo, where it isn’t news), but ordinary cold and snow are not news-worthy events.
And why show said blizzard or cars covered with snow every ten freakin’ minutes? The TV station doesn’t repeat the clip of an armed robbery or the groundbreaking for a new civic center every ten minutes. You tuned in late and missed it? Too bad.
I have a theory that we are so wrapped up in what the weather is doing because few of us are actually out in it. We go from our heated homes to our heated cars (or bus or train), end up in an enclosed parking deck or station, and are in our comfortable workplaces without having breathed fresh air for more than the few seconds it takes to open and close a door.
But tantrum aside, I agree weather is important. Knowing what the weather is going to do is helpful in planning your day (see paragraph two above). I want to know, in a worst-case scenario, if a tornado is headed my way. So, yes, give a weather forecast along with the morning and evening news. Then don’t air it again unless something has drastically changed in the past half hour. And I mean drastically, not a degree up or down on the thermometer.
Because I don’t care.