Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If We Drop In Some New Jargon, Maybe They Won't Notice Our Rotten Forecasting

On Tuesday's "Live at Daybreak," Channel 6's Scott Akin was busy dropping the Ejacuweather meteorologists' latest crutch-word: values."

Akin gave us info on humidity values, heat index values, dew point values, and any other brand of values he could squeeze in.

This is one of those cases that George Carlin has often alluded to: the tendency of dimwits to add words to ordinary terms in an attempt to make what they're saying sound more important. (The example Carlin gives is flight attendants who announce that they're about to "begin the boarding process," when all they really need to say is that it's about time to begin boarding.)

Such is the case with all the Ejacuweather values. Don't tell us that there are high humidity values; just note that there's high humidity and be done with it.

Beyond that annoyance, Tuesday's "Daybreak" also gave Akin a chance to display an Ejacuweather graphic that now classifies dewpoints. According to the chart (and Akin), we can't say it's "muggy" outside unless the dewpoint is 70 or higher. That's right—he actually said that we can't call today's weather muggy, even though it's close. It's only "humid" according to the chart.

We're no weather experts, but one thing's for certain: those Ejacuweather boys sure have some high stupidity values.


AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

These are the same idiots that tell us when snowfall is "nuisance" or "plowable." Oh, how they love to control our thoughts, perceptions and actions...kinda like those damn Republicans. Channel 6 Weather is the worst source for information in town, and Jim Flowers is worthless. If WOWT got rid of him, they could use his unjustifiable salary to invest in some better talent, or an act of charity. Hell, his daily "flower budget" alone could feed a family in Africa.

the dude said...

Wow, I thought muggy and humid meant the same thing since I used both terms on air. So I look up what the words mean in the dictionary and guess what...essentially the same thing. I still can't understand how some tv mets take simple terms and make them confusing to viewers.

weatherwoman said...

I'm not on tv, but I'm just curious. I think almost all the tv forecasters do a pretty good job. My perspective is completely different. I'm a weather geek and so is everyone I know. I'd love to know what you guys want from us meteorologists... aside from being more accurate.

operationseng said...

Well said Ted.

operationseng said...


I can only speak for myself; but when I watch the weather I WANT the weather. I don't want a show that goes along with it. I think that the weather persons spend too much time pondering their cute factor and not enough time pondering the forecast. This might affect their accuracy rates, as they're attempting to "outcute" the other stations. But then I don't know all the facts not having been in TV for over ten years. This might be the consultants telling them that they have to spice up the weather a bit. Perhaps, without the cute factor added, the weather is a bit too, dare I say it, dry.

"The Dude" was correct, humid and muggy mean the same thing. I don't know who he is, but I can tell you that he'd be the one I'd watch. Sounds like out of all of them, he's the only one that has his head screwed on straight and talks straight about the weather. Thanks dude.

the dude said...

I appreciate the compliment. I'm not in the Omaha market but I heard about this blog a while ago. I like it because it gives me a chance to see how viewers feel about certain weatherpeople and their presentations. I'm still a newbie in the biz but the best advice I ever got about explaining weather on tv is "Talk about weather on camera like you would talk about it to a person in Wal-Mart." I think that mindset helps me eliminate a lot of confusing terms or using met speak on tv.

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