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Friday, June 22, 2012

It's going where?

Computers are great. They give us games, information, instant communication, illegal music downloads and so much more. However during the early stages of the development of a tropical storm they are no better than you or I at predicting strength and ultimate destination of said storm. I would liken it to us throwing a dart at a map except it's worse than that because the computers that "weathermen"....excuse me..."meteorologists" use have an unlimited supply of darts and will use every one to confuse you and drive chaos. This is because local newscasts thrive on severe weather or the threat of severe weather to drive ratings and the weathermen get to be the superheroes. Ultimately they had nothing to do with the course or severity of the storm but they get to quit losing their lunch money for a change and take credit for your eventual survival. "We are here to keep you safe" is a common enough catchphrase because "We are here to drum up hysteria" is a little too callous sounding and "We are here to try and justify a paycheck" is just too self-centered. At the same time corralling the support of the station managers for that irresistible piece of new technology they love to play with needs ratings. Never mind that it's primary purpose will be to detect smaller disturbances that are farther away at an earlier date to extend the hype window out even further than it is now allowing the cycle to begin sooner so it can be massaged for the best results. Call me cynical but you have to admit there is a  certain grain of truth buried in my latest rant.....Why are they called meteorologists anyhow? They are wrong about so much more than meteors.