Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Weather We Need It or Not

Rather than hype stories about how giant melons are endangering the lives of the elderly, Channel 3 is trying something odd: original programming that focuses on one of the station's strengths. Crazy, isn't it?

But that's what they're doing on Wednesday at 6 p.m., when they air "First with Severe Weather: 10 Ways to Survive the Storm." Featuring KMTV meteorologists Ryan McPike, Sarah Walters, Charles Thongklin, and Suzanne Matthews, the program will offer, as the title suggests, informative tips for dealing with the violent storms that so often strike the region in May and June. The show comes, incidentally, just two days short of the 30th anniversary of the 1975 tornado that began at 108th & Giles Road and ripped across southwest Omaha, up 72nd Street, and left the ground only after reaching the Benson golf course; it is still ranked as one of the most costly tornadoes ever to strike the US.

What's nice about 3's weather coverage is that it generally avoids the hysterical doomsday approach of Jim Flowers' gang at Channel 6, and isn't dependent on the presence of its chief meterologist to communicate during a severe weather outbreak, as is Channel 7. (Anyone who witnessed Andrea Bredow's fumbling, bumbling, stumbling performance during the storms that produced the Hallam tornado last year knows what we mean. By the time chief Bill Randby arrived, 20 minutes into the cut-in, Bredow was barely able to form sentences.)

The focus at KMTV is on informing viewers so that they can take sensible measures to protect themselves. Nothing more, nothing less. Channel 3's crew is well-schooled in meteorology, equipped with superior gizmos like its 3-D Vipir radar, and capable of delivering the latest information without conveying a sense that they're about to experience a Flowers-style, on-air, weather-induced orgasm.

So not only will Channel 3 air "First with Severe Weather," it will likely remain first when it comes to covering it.


Platte Matt said...

Are you talking about the same channel 3 that went on for 30+ minutes a few weeks ago for a little bit of hail (over Oprah nonetheless.) The same channel 3 that shows us 15 differnt confusing angles of the storm whenever there is the slightest sign of a tornado. I agree that aside for Ramby the rest of the 7 weather team is weak...and Flowers can get too emotional...but to say that 3 is any better is laughable.

BTW Fox did the same type of "informative" progam last week and it was the same old stuff.

papiopete said...

Sorry. Nothing really new about what 3 is doing. Its been done by every station here in town at one time or another. Weather guys are basically the same everywhere--overly dramatic about some things...very lowkey when they blow a forecast.

Midtown said...

You also must have missed the hour long severe weather special done on Channel 7 in March. Not only including what happens here but using it's sister station in Oklahoma City to point out the differences in tornado alley and Nebraska. One more thing I don't know how often you get to see Andrea Bredow do weather but most of the time she is a very capable weathercaster. Please don't base your entire comments on one severe weather breaking news situation. I certainly would not want to be based on one day in my job.

Will said...

Bredow is OK by me.

She's an OK weathercaster, but what I really like about her is the way she just kind of looks like she could care less about the schtick banter that stations feel compelled to include in their newscasts.

And she seems especially game do do remotes where she has to drive a Zamboni machine or rock climb. But who wouldn't?

wdbygirl said...

Leave Bredow alone. She's excellent at her job, a great person and one of my best friends. I am very proud of her. Everyone gets stuck once in a while.

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