This morning, through all the web chaff I wade through, I made a stop to check the local weather for Fort Lauderdale. The Weather Channel's website went through a recent redesign to make it more social. The problem is that it made it less useable and more difficult to actually get the information that I want to see on it.
I'll work around it. It's not pretty but it will have to do.
The problem was that I loaded the page and my heart did that usual little flutter it does whenever I see that "Warning Will Robinson" red stripe at the top that screams there's something to watch out for. Reading it and dreading a late season Hurricane, I saw these words:
Breaking News: What Will Winter Storm Brutus Bring?
I will tell you, it's going to bring me laughing at The Weather Channel and refusing to take it seriously. The Weather Channel is the channel that brings you all hype all the time, I realize that. After all it had that bobble headed blond Jen Carfagno call the King Kamehameha Hotel in Hawaii the "King Kammey Hah-hah-hah" hotel, as well as quite a lot of misinformation when the Tsunami disaster happened in Japan a year back.
You basically want to hit the weather channel when they do the cut away every 10 minutes for the information and turn to something else when the bobble heads come back with their "news". My suggestion would be to turn to your family and talk about current events because the hype machine would roll on regardless. I guess it drives Ad Revenue but frankly it feels a bit irresponsible, in my opinion.
The National Weather Service has just put out a message telling their people not to use these Winter Storm Names because they are not a part of their "product". It's a pretty good idea not to. All those names do is give more fuel to the hype machine.
My own reasons are pretty basic. I lived in Metro Philadelphia most of my life. I've been through countless winter storms. Some of them were pretty scary and dumped more than two feet of snow on the roads. I don't want to minimize things, they can be dangerous. But adding to the fear of preparation, such as going to the supermarket and "buy Milk, Eggs, and Bread" with your whole zip-code, is irresponsible.
No, really that's the going joke. Winter Storm is coming, you have to buy Milk, Eggs, and Bread and stand in line for hours. After all, all your neighbors will be making French Toast the day of the storms because the cities have finally learned it makes more sense to close the main roads so your first responders can clear them and get to people who really DO need the help.
I think I'll make French Toast later, come to think of it...
So I'll be looking for a better place to get the weather information. I've had quite enough of The Weather Channel's hype machine and screaming red bars for a storm that basically works out to be a strong Tropical Storm and rarely, maybe once a year, a weak Category 1 Hurricane equivalent. I want to know when the storms will form because I want to know my sister, her husband, and my nephew will be safe in New Jersey. That goes for my cousins in New York City and The Island too, but the hype has got to go.
Time to change some links I guess. The Weather Channel has rendered itself next to useless to me. Since I stopped watching their blather on cable, I've found that I am actually better informed. They've become the Fox News of Weather Forecasting.
And Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Fox News.