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MissAusten's avatar

Have TV weather reporters always been so dramatic about the weather, or is this a recent development?

Asked by MissAusten (16087 points ) October 1st, 2010

I never paid attention to the weather on the local news as a kid or even as a young adult. I still don’t watch it often, but even the local news websites make every weather event seem like huge deal. Schools close early and cancel activities, every time you turn on the TV or go online you see dire warnings, people run out to stock up on supplies, and then…nothing happens.

Have the weather people always been so dramatic, or is this something that developed gradually to get viewers to tune in? Do you feel the weather reports are reliable, or too overblown to take seriously?

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13 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think it’s recent, like within the last 6 or 7 years. Eyeballs can tune somewhere else as easily as blinking, thanks to the remote and 500 channels, so broadcasters have to up the drama factor to keep them tuned in. It’s like soft porn, but for weather.

The blizzard of 1996 was no big deal here in NYC, and that dumped a foot or two, but a few years later, we got maybe 7 or 8 inches one day and the Sam Champion-types were running around on their cardboard sets shrieking about it. Time was where New Yorkers would laugh at people in DC for freaking out over getting 2 or 3 inches, which is inherently more dangerous for that city, and now we’re just as pathetic about the usual storm systems as everyone else.

Hi, New York City. Remember, it snows here in the winter. It rains here spring, summer and autumn, sometimes a lot. We get Nor’easters here. Sheesh. Calm the eff down.

erichw1504's avatar

I have noticed an increase in over hyping incoming storms and such. Probably is a way to get viewers to tune in, like you mentioned. Every time they show a commercial about the upcoming newscast, they always mention the weather report. And they usually have a quick overview of the weather early on the broadcast, then a more in depth report later on.

misstrikcy's avatar

Weather reports are rubbish. The BBC just tend to generalise about the weather nowadays as they’ve made so many blunders… They predict BBQ summers every year and they never come to fruition. This year has been the best year for weather (in Blighty) in years, but it’s still not been a BBQ summer.
I tend to find ALL reporters (political especially) over dramatic.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I think it’s a fairly recent development. Around here, any forecast for snow closes schools and sends small angry women in large SUVs to the store to buy eggs, milk and bread. What?!? Does snow equal French Toast or something?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How did we get to be better educated about the weather and totally stupid about it at the same time?

marinelife's avatar

24-hour cable channels are a maw that has to be filled. Weather is an ever-present and free commodity. Thus, the weather channel was born and with it, the weather obsession.

erichw1504's avatar

No weatherman is more dramatic than Ollie!

Cruiser's avatar

I think they have always been a bit over the top and NOBODY did it better than John Coleman!

wundayatta's avatar

It’s been going on for at least two decades, I think, but I don’t think it was like this when I was a kid.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Actually, the local weather that I watch is probably less dramatic than most. The weatherman always seems to be reassuring people that temperatures are normal for that specific time of year, or he will compare them to old weather records from the last 50 years, etc. Maybe our local weatherman just doesn’t believe in global warming and wants to get us on board. haha.
Then again, we have always had sort of erratic weather in this area.. lots of weather extremes, so maybe that is why?

MissAusten's avatar

I’m glad it’s not just here then!

What bothers me about the way they present the weather report now is that people are starting to not take it seriously. Whenever we’re supposed to be in the path of a hurricane, getting a huge snowstorm, or anything potentially dangerous, such a huge deal is made over it. Then, the weather we actually get is often much less extreme. One of these days we will get the horrible weather as predicted, but a lot of people will not prepare for it.

@aprilsimnel Too funny! I actually get excited about those nor’easters! In the winter, we get so much snow from them. Usually our weather is more moderate on the shore, but the nor’easters hit us harder than the inland areas.

YARNLADY's avatar

Ever since I was a little girl in the 1950’s, the weather reporters have been at least as dramatic as the news reporters. It wasn’t until I read about clown weather reporters that I knew any different. We had a very funny weather reporter in San Diego, who moved to Sacramento, but he has mellowed out since having a family.

tranquilsea's avatar

It is fun spending the afternoon talking like a news reporter or weatherman. It emphasizes just how ridiculous it is.

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