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TV weather forecast: Clouds of doom with a downpour of drama
I KNOW I complained about TV weathermen a few months ago, but something that happened the other night made me want to scream.
Remember when the weatherman just gave you the weather? No emotion. No hoopla. No theatrics.
Remember when a rainy day was just a rainy day and an inch of rain was not cause for alarm?
Well, brother, those days are gone. These TV guys get all bug-eyed now over an afternoon of drizzle. And an inch of rain? You'd think that an asteroid was heading our way.
I am beginning to believe that a meteorology school's curriculum consists of 25 percent weather classes and 75 percent drama classes. Every snowflake, every raindrop, every windy day must involve high drama. Sometimes it really borders on the ridiculous.
For the past few months, a couple of these D.C. weathermen have been on this "we're-behind-on-our-average-annual-precipitation" kick.
First of all, "average" precipitation is just that, an average. Just because the June rainfall in our area averages 3.1 inches, that doesn't mean we're going to get exactly 3.1 inches of precipitation every June.
Some years we might get 2.1 inches and some years we might get 4.1 inches, making the average 3.1 inches. No one seems to realize that Mother Nature doesn't turn on the faucet just to please humans.
In fact, if you average out the 10 years between 1997 and 2006, which included three substantial summer droughts, you will find that the annual precipitation over that period is almost exactly in keeping with the 140-year average.
I was talking to a lady on Tuesday who was all concerned about the amount of water in her well, because the TV weatherman she watches keeps harping on the fact that precipitation in parts of the Washington area is five inches below average for the year.
I tried to explain to her that we had ample rains last summer, fall and early winter and that there is plenty of moisture underground. The hot March weather may have dried off the top of the ground a bit, but recent rains--including the one that was occurring at that very moment--had rectified that situation.
That same night, I was watching the 11 o'clock news on WRC-Channel 4 when its chief meteorologist, Doug Kammerer, was talking about the severe flooding in parts of Prince William County.