Shaking the Cold…and Other Thoughts

Not a half bad day. Sun was bold, air was cold. We still managed to make it near 30°, however.

More thawing than freezing in store in the coming days. We’ll hit 40 tomorrow/Saturday, then soar to near 50 by the end of the weekend.

Sidebar time:

Many have asked me to weigh in on the ongoing Weather Channel / DirecTV dispute. As an employee of an NBC affiliate, I must side with the Weather Channel, however, I’m also a meteorologist, and I owe some allegiance to the trade – and the meteorologists who are working on the side of WeatherNation (the alternative weather source DirecTV is using).

Let’s get one thing straight. There are plenty of sources for weather information. Almost as many as we have sources for our forecasts (models). As such, the battle for the hearts and minds of the public is reaching a fever pitch with the existing forecast providers. Heck, I not only battle Channel 5, 4 and 25, but I have WeatherBug, Weather Underground and Dark Skies breathing down my neck. Who will jump ahead in the ratings grab? Who gets the most hits (or app purchases) on their sites? And most importantly, what role will meteorologists take in the next ten years?

I believe we’re nearing a crossroads for forecast dissemination. Meteorologists will always have a place in the forecast scene, but there may be a time when the television meteorologist is a thing of the past. People are following what suites their needs and desires. This shift to more personalized forecasts is the wave we should all be riding. I see a time where forecast information could be “learned” by artificially intelligent algorithms. Where live web cameras/weather conditions would be relayed along your travel route inside your car and forecast outlooks could weight the odds of rain for your garden party on Saturday (with my big noggin in the corner smiling, of course). Imagine tackling your morning commute armed with webcams scanning the weather/roads, seeing what’s ahead, and tracking a thunderstorm via crowdsourcing and hyper local weather observations.  

Film at 11? Um, not quite. And that’s why I think this fight for eyeballs on TV is misguided. Who blinks first? Who cares? We’re taking our eyes off the prize, and the weather is the real loser here.