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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Friday, July 27

The "Weather story"

Some reporters hate them, others love them. Often, it's whether you've had to shovel snow or pump out your basement that day that makes the difference.

I personally, as Online Editor Emily Donohue called me Wednesday, am a "weather nerd." That means I'll often be the one to call the meteorologist when the region is expecting torrential downpours, biblical flooding or enough snow to strand you on the highway — or that's at least what they always tell me to expect when I call.

There is something about calling scientists who are in the midst of some technical issue, talking enthusiastically about the inner-workings of their field (and you better pull up a chair if you ask a meteorologist to explain "in layman's terms" how a weather system comes to be) that always makes me wish I'd become a scientist. My wife just called me a nerd, too.

So I called the National Weather Service Wednesday and asked what the weather was supposed to be like Thursday. I don't do it everyday, but I'd heard it might be nasty.

The meteorologist I talked to said "there is potential for some isolated tornadoes."

So what am I to do?

I don't want to hype up "the sky is falling" issue, but at the same time someone whose daily job is the weather just told me we could be looking at a reenactment of the Wizard of Oz.

As a reporter, I didn't want to be the one to not tell my readers Thursday — after a twister had carried away the brand-new Tempered by Memory sculpture — that a scientist told me Wednesday to expect that.

Obviously it's better that everyone prepare for something that never happens rather than be caught off guard.

That's what I've told myself all afternoon, anyway, after reporting Wednesday that tornadoes were possible when Thursday it turned out to be just a rain storm — and not even a bad one at that.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were right about the timing just not the location. Weather is a very difficult science, if it is that. It is also the only SCIENCE that pro ports to be able to predict the future.
As the financial institutions say "Past performance is no indication of future..."
I prefer the stick method. If it is wet it is raining, if it is frozen it is freezing, if it is spinning tornadoes etc

July 27, 2012 at 1:21 PM 
Blogger Lucian said...

Tried and true.

July 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM 

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