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October 10, 2015

Things I Hate About TV: The Weather Channel

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 9th 2006 9:17AM

Ah, hurricane! Run and hide!During a particularly bad spate of thunderstorms blanketing the Delaware Valley last week I switched on The Weather Channel thinking I would see some reports about the severe weather that was crossing the region. However, after my local forecast ended I was treated to a special which featured team coverage about the official start of the 2006 hurricane season.

Well, I looked outside, switched around to the other news networks, went on the Internet (until the thunderstorms knocked out my access), then rocketed into space in my personal spacecraft to see if any hurricanes were making landfall on the United States' coastline. I couldn't find any. So, why the heck did they have all of this team coverage when all I wanted to find out is if my house would be flooded by torrential rains or stuck several times by lightning?

Yes, last year's hurricane season was not one to take lightly: thousands (if not millions) of square miles devastated across the Gulf Coast; hundreds of thousands of lives disrupted as homes were destroyed and family and friends were lost or died; billions of dollars of revenue for the area washed away. It will take many years and many dollars to rebuild and get the population that went elsewhere to return to the region. However, was there a real purpose for team coverage of a date on the calendar?

When the producers and executives at the 24-hour network decided to air this special did they anticipate that a hurricane would begin brewing in the Atlantic so the coverage would have some significance. It's true that weather, especially severe weather, is this channel's bread and butter. However, to place a scare into viewers for events that even happened yet is not the way to go, particularly when severe weather is actually occurring in the present.

Yet, The Weather Channel has been moving into the realm of sensationalism for several years now, especially with its series It Could Happen Tomorrow, which shows that New York City could be destroyed by a severe earthquake or a tsunami could strike San Francisco by, well, tomorrow. They still have weather forecasts, but they are interspersed more and more with weather-related stories. This is fine for those of us with digital cable, since The Weather Channel and local stations offer continuous automated coverage of the weather. However, for those still running with basic, The Weather Channel is the only game in town.

Perhaps, the next time actual severe weather strikes, The Weather Channel could preempt their original programming and report on the actual weather that is going on in real time. When that's over they can get back to telling us how the weather will eventually turn this planet into a watery hell full of tornadoes and earthquakes.



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Why do the call this the Weather Channel? I really wish they would preempt their programming when we are having this storm....the one right now, with 60mph winds. Go to check out weather on the 8's and there is no report, Hurricane Hunters. I know others said you can use other resources, but it IS the weather channel!

July 28 2012 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just watch your local weather plus!

August 03 2006 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was at my friends house during that "bad spate of thunderstorms" in Delaware last weekend. His basement was flooded and we definitely had a terrible time cleaning it up.

June 09 2006 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of the greatest things about using a Media Center PC for my TV/DVR duties is having a Weather program installed. Of course it'd be helpless too if the internet connection was out.

I guess it could've been forecast. It's only a small jump from MTV not playing any videos to the Weather Channel not covering local weather.

June 09 2006 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

If I can get online I pretty much rely on Weather Underground for weather information. http://www.wunderground.com

June 09 2006 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leslie Briney

I did not see "It Could Happen Tomorrow", but as a resident of the central San Joaquin Valley in California, and with our personal ties to the greatest agricultural center of the world, we keep a very close watch on the Weather Channel. We have friends who farm, so a frost is, again, personal to us. My husband's business is crop insurance loss adjusting, so, once more, this channel is very important to us. Knowing that thunder and lightning storms are on the way means a lot to my computer, freezer, and other of life's conveniences. Being aware of the dangers involved in all sorts of natural disasters and seeing them almost first hand saves lives. If an earthquake were predictable, the Weather Channel would be a lifesaver to Californians. Predictable tsunamis? Wouldn't notification over and over again be a godsend?
Flood predictions? Even if they do not happen, preparedness is essential. Better to be prepared than die of drowning in your attic.

June 09 2006 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate the Weather Channel, because they can't seem to get a forecast right. About 80% of the time the forecase on the Weather Channel is different from that on my local news. Usually, the local weather is right.

June 09 2006 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I second the amen. A few weeks ago I was up after midnight, lightning buffeting around the house, and I could not find a live radar picture on cable for love or money. All the local stations had gone to bed, and TWC was preoccupied with making sure the west coast got their primetime dose of "It Could Happen Tomorrow". I don't care what they choose to air as long as they give me my local forecast (the full version WITH radar and 7-day forecast) 6 times an hour.

June 09 2006 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, I agree, the weather channel is a waste.
I had some severe storms in the upstate South Carolina
area, switched to the weather channel hoping to get details about SC weather. I watched the weather channel for close to a hour. During the hour I watched there where no details concerning the storm in upstate South Carolina. There needs to be more detailed information for each state, especially those dealing with severe weather, otherwise, what use is there for having the weather channel. I no longer bother with checking the weather channel, and have no use for it, if I want information, I'll connsult local channels or the web.

June 09 2006 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree totally, and had almost the same scenario happen last week. I thought the weather channel was for 'current and upcoming weather conditions/reporting'. It shouldnt be for any other programs of entertaining value.

June 09 2006 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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