Monday, June 15, 2009

My Radar Is Bigger Than Your Radar

I try my best not to use this weekly forum to express my personal opinions but rather try to offer facts and information to help you cut through the jargon and hype so prevalent with the home electronics industry. With a request for your indulgence I am going to depart from the norm.

A few weekends ago, a series of storms rolled through parts of the Cincinnati / Dayton area. For many of us it was a non event as, other then a few clouds and distant thunder, we were spared the rain and wind. I turned on the TV that evening to see again the “Crying Wolf” world of local TV weather reporting. Each of the local stations was on the air live tracking every drop of rain, every breeze and every glimmer of lighting using enough radar and graphics systems to make NASA envious.

This spring so far has been quite benign as it relates to severe weather. We have had very few storms and not much wind. Perhaps the relatively minor storm of May 30th was indeed “news” because we have had so few.

Perhaps the most telling comment was an exchange on camera between two weather persons. The ‘Chief Meteorologist’ asked the ‘Assistant Chief Meteorologist’ to check with the police department in a suburb and see what damage the storm had caused. He seemed genuinely crestfallen when the answer came back …”none!”

The local TV stations have invested so much money in purchasing these high tech tools, that just like a kid at Christmas who just has to ride that new bike in three feet of snow; they are giddy to use and show off the cool features. “My radar is better than your radar…nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!”

It is not only the weather reporters at the local level. You can see it on the national 24/7 news channels like CNN and Fox. I am sure that the water main break in Fargo is a great inconvenience for our fellow Americans in North Dakota, but does it really belong as a story on the national news with a reporter decked out in waders and raincoat providing commentary. I think not.

With so much information flooding our lives each day, we have to be selective in what we pay attention to. If every time that the sky darkens and rain falls becomes a “Noahesque” calamity, when a real storm hits we are all going to be oblivious to it . Let me know when storms are possible. I have enough sense to get out of the rain, thank you!


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