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February 12, 2019 6:31 am  #1


With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

With terms, like the Polar Vortex, then describing how bad it is going to be and you should just stay home (until April)...

It begs the question as we are on the verge of another major storm today, is the Weather Network amping up the fear?

Growing up in Ottawa, cold, snow, and crappy weather was what we called winter!

Our new house in the West end would creak on a cold night, we had snow banks that took an hour to clear and we walked to school backwards because the winter winds would freeze your face off...( I tell kids about walking backwards and no one believes me...go figure...lol ).

But this report raises a good point about weather forecasting. I personally sense a great deal of fear mongering going on...

What is your take? 

Comment away!

Oh and be careful out there today! 

Here is the article...



http://www.lakeplacidnews.com/page/content.detail/id/529509/Meteorologists--please-stop-the-fearmongering-.html?nav=5002

 

Last edited by Muffaraw Joe (February 12, 2019 6:32 am)


The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...
 

February 12, 2019 8:26 am  #2


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

Yes, the weather obsession and scare-mongering is over the top, but in this age of 'Must have instant content, the more sensational the better', main stream and social media feel the need to feed the info-hungry masses.  When something as vapid and unimportant as the Kardashian family's daily affairs and fashion choices is considered 'news', something as important and impactful as weather is downright Pulitzer Prize-winning material.

 

February 12, 2019 8:32 am  #3


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

Righteous Joe, righteous.

THIS JUST IN: IT SNOWS IN KANADA!!!

 

February 12, 2019 8:49 am  #4


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

When I was a kid  snow was snow...NOW....every snowfall is a storm!!

 

 

February 12, 2019 8:52 am  #5


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

Basically, the regular stations got nuthin; better to do.

And, TWN is weather porn.

 

February 12, 2019 9:56 am  #6


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

Yes, TV stations can go overboard on storms. But if I may give the other side of the story, there’s a good reason for it. Simply put, it attracts eyeballs. Big time.
 
There are very few who aren’t affected by terrible weather and it’s kind of like passing by a traffic accident. You don’t want to look but you simply can’t help but be fascinated by it. That’s why I expect CP24 to have a big day ratings-wise.
 
It brings up something that I’ve never forgotten. About a decade ago, we had a storm similar to the one we’re having on Tuesday. The folks on our TV newsroom digital desk did a great job, constantly updating the website with what was obviously our top story of the day, including closures, traffic effects, up-to-the-minute snow totals, when it would end, etc.  
 
The next day, they had a look at the total page views on comScore and it probably won’t surprise you that the numbers on that yarn were through the roof. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of page views, consistent and growing throughout the day. Clearly, there was a great deal of interest in what was happening outside.
 
And if you needed more proof, we did a tally the following January and that wound up as the number one story on our site of the entire year! The only stories that came close for popularity and interest were homicides, which says something about our viewers, although I’m not sure what.
 
And then there was the day – and I’m not making this up - that there was a murder in the middle of a snowstorm and the weather was affecting the police investigation. The web audience was so crazy for that one, I wasn’t sure the software could count that high.
 
My point is that weather sells. It may drive people crazy, but it works. And that’s why you’ll be seeing the panic (sometimes deserved, sometimes not) every time there’s any kind of storm. TV and radio stations are in the business of attracting audiences. If this gets it for them, they’ll continue to do it till the end of time. (Which, if you believe climate scientists, could well be next year!)
 
One last thing – I’ve been on the receiving end of countless phone calls and emails at work over the years from people complaining bitterly that we didn’t tell them what was coming, mainly because a storm wound up being a lot worse than predicted. (“You said 5 centimetres. We got 15! What the hell is wrong with you people!” etc. etc.)
 
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. For a lot of stations, better to over warn than not. It’s a delicate balance. And no matter what you do, as far as some viewers are concerned, you can never get it right.

 

February 12, 2019 10:13 am  #7


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

Yes, I agree with Mr. Moderator about nervous nelly eyeballs, but, the whole thing is way overdone.

We are producing a generation of any kind of risk populace who freak out any time there is any amount of inclement weather.

If you don't believe me, check out the local LCBO any time a snow event is forecast, and get ready to stand in line for 15 minutes.

Subliminally, and literally, we are being conditioned to be just as fragile snowflakes as the real ones falling.

I doubt very much we could withstand a real emergency, like this, today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0Rt_4-OaXY

 

February 12, 2019 2:40 pm  #8


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

The forecast said the storm will start in Ottawa at noon....or three.  As my late father used to say....
The weatherman is never wrong....but on occasion his timing is off!!!

 

February 12, 2019 2:52 pm  #9


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

Ale Ont wrote:

The forecast said the storm will start in Ottawa at noon....or three.  As my late father used to say....
The weatherman is never wrong....but on occasion his timing is off!!!

its 2:50 here in ottawa.... starting to look menacing but nothing falling.... yet.  Sometimes fathers can be wise.

 

February 12, 2019 3:19 pm  #10


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

Muffaraw Joe wrote:

...( I tell kids about walking backwards and no one believes me...go figure...lol ).

 

Grew up in Scarborough in the '60s & '70s.  I can indeed recall many a winter's day walking backwards to (elementary and high) school.  Of course nowadays my old neighbourhood has school bus service.  In these times I find many kids find it hard to believe that we walked (in any direction) to school...lol.

I agree that today's weather coverage  is overkill at times.

In addition to RA's valid points about the ratings/business factors;  I think a lot of it comes from the change in weather patterns.  Growing up, we were not surprised to see some snow as early as Thanksgiving (CDN).  Now however,  we often don't see snow until December and last year it was January (IMO) before we had any substantial accumulation.  This just feeds into the public reactions we see when a major snowfall is forecast.
 

 

February 13, 2019 9:29 am  #11


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

I understand perfectly well why they do it. Storm coverage on radio and tv does attract people..big time.
In fact if you aren't listening to coverage while commuting then you are probably listening to music, oblivious to what is going on around you and get what you deserve.  These are the same people who drive with the back window covered in snow and no lights on!!

 

February 13, 2019 9:38 am  #12


Re: With the pending storm, are the weather stations fear mongering?

When I was growing up, downhill had not been invented.  Everything was up hill.