Friday, February 08, 2013

Northeast Blizzard Update, Plus: Death To The Weather Channel!

Kent Brockman, reporting live:

And by the way, this new fad of "naming winter storms" is wholly a creation & product of The Weather Channel, which is why I won't use the "Nemo" moniker, or any other name they come up with.

Here's their take:

During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation...

Naming a storm raises awareness.
Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.

There has been some, ahem, "blow-back" on this. The Gothamist:

When the Georgia-based network first announced its intention to name storms last fall, many meteorologists objected to the scheme, with NBC's Andrew Freiden wondering who died and made TWC corporate king of christening weather. As WJLA-TV’s Bob Ryan pointed out, "there was NO coordination of this decision to name winter storms with the National Weather Service or any of the professional groups such as the Weather Coalition, groups within the AMS or NWA."

Yep, the Weather Channel just went ahead and did it, like Colonel Kurtz ordering the assassination of Vietnamese double agents and amassing a Montagnard army of stupidly-named soldiers. And it fucking worked. Everyone from Mayor Bloomberg to, uh, local website has been calling our current Nor'Easter "Nemo"...

As one might expect, AccuWeather Founder and President Joel N. Myers is none to pleased, and points out the danger of TWC's atmospheric power grab:

In unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety. We have explored this issue for 20 years and have found that this is not good science and will mislead the public. Winter storms are very different from hurricanes.

Hurricanes are well-defined storms following a path that can be tracked. Winter storms are often erratic, affecting different areas unevenly. Their centers may not be well-defined. There may be multiple centers and they often shift. One area may get a blizzard, while places not too far away may experience rain or fog, or nothing at all. Naming a winter storm that may deliver such varied weather will create more confusion in the public and the emergency management community.

And while I usually don't mind the private sector usurping government agencies (NOAA f*ck'd up badly by not calling Sandy a hurricane), TWC should not be allowed to control the weather narrative, as they have an agenda of their own. I wrote this piece over six years ago:

The Weather Channel's most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to "Holocaust Deniers" and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

The Weather Channel's (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program "The Climate Code," is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their "Seal of Approval" for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.

If TWC has its way, their voice will be the only one reporting the weather:

TWC, in recent years, has acquired several of its competitors (WSI, Weather Underground and Weather Central) and, overwhelmingly, controls the leading share of the U.S. weather audience (from “across all its platforms - television, online, desktop and mobile - The Weather Channel has a 76 percent share of the huge U.S. weather audience.”).

It’s somewhat unsettling that it’s apparently not enough for TWC to have a huge majority ownership of the weather reporting business, but that it must also make a play to be the guardian of the weather itself.

Don't help TWC on the road to weather tyranny.  Death to Nemo!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the co-founder and first president of The Weather Channel, meteorologist John Coleman (formerly of Good Morning America), thinks global warming is a scam.