What's the connection between tv meteorologists and Boston?

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Dec 26, 2004
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Booneville, KY
Is it tought in the first year of met school to mention Boston first during every tour of the nation? LOL.

Seriously, it seems all the tv mets on national news programs as well as TWC do this. I've noticed this and been amazed by it since childhood.

So can anyone offer any insight into why all the tv mets on national programs lead off with Boston?

-George
 
It'a America's eastern most big city. No big conspiracy here. You talk about weather in the east first (where all the people live) and move west. You can even get away with skipping states like Wyoming and North Dakota where it is easier to just call everyone and tell them the weather.
 
I can hardly stomach to watch the Weather Channel anymore. I don't know why they don't just cut off all the states west of the Mississippi and leave the half maps up instead.
 
Oh, I can understand covering the big cities with huge populations. But I mean there's other large cities besides Boston. There's New York, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, etc. It just seems interesting that regardless of what's happening elsewhere, Boston is almost always the lead city in the weathercast. Not saying there's a conspiracy or anything (afterall, what would there be to conspire...lol?), it's just interesting.

For example, I've been watching TWC while a major tornado outbreak was taking place somewhere in the Midwest only to hear something such as......"It's a dangerous evening in mid-America, but first, there's light showers in Boston". LOL. It just seems strange is all. I'm sure most of you know exactly what I am talking about when it comes to national weathercasts.

Anyway, this wasn't meant as a totally serious topic and it's not intended as an insult to people living in or near Boston. I was just curious if anyone else had noticed the frequency in which Boston is the lead story when it comes to weather.

-George
 
I can hardly stomach to watch the Weather Channel anymore. I don't know why they don't just cut off all the states west of the Mississippi and leave the half maps up instead.

I worked as an intern at TWC in the 1980s. It was stated to me that they spend more time covering certain parts of the nation simply because their viewership was higher in those regions. At that time, the Northeast U.S. and Florida had the largest number of cable susbscribers, and thus, most attention was given to them. I wouldn't be surprised that this is still their policy.

Some may argue that this is a legitimate business decision - catering to the locations giving them the most profit. It is this very reason why I continue to support the government's role in public weather services - their motivations are not dictated by profits, and thus coverage is equal for all parts of our nation. Not that I'm opposed to the private side of meteorology - there are endless weather-sensitive business activities where weather information provides a market edge - this should be the role of private industry. Re-packaging of weather information for specific clients (e.g., media, other private industries like utility companies) in order to increase their partner's profits should be the domain of the privates.
 
I worked as an intern at TWC in the 1980s. It was stated to me that they spend more time covering certain parts of the nation simply because their viewership was higher in those regions. At that time, the Northeast U.S. and Florida had the largest number of cable susbscribers, and thus, most attention was given to them. I wouldn't be surprised that this is still their policy.

I've also heard this before. Why, then, do they spend countless hours every year talking about poofs of convection in the deep Atlantic that have no chance of ever becoming a threatening tropical system? Of course, none of this really explains their bizarre idea this past weekend to go ahead and show "Forecast Earth" and "Storm Stories" during potentially the biggest northeast U.S. blizzard of the decade.

Some may argue that this is a legitimate business decision - catering to the locations giving them the most profit. It is this very reason why I continue to support the government's role in public weather services - their motivations are not dictated by profits, and thus coverage is equal for all parts of our nation. Not that I'm opposed to the private side of meteorology - there are endless weather-sensitive business activities where weather information provides a market edge - this should be the role of private industry. Re-packaging of weather information for specific clients (e.g., media, other private industries like utility companies) in order to increase their partner's profits should be the domain of the privates.

Well said! Growing up, I listened to years to the radio forecasts of a certain large private weather corporations for Little Rock (let's call them "Accu--------") and they were consistently horrific (trust me, I kept score for awhile). The same has proven true for their OKC forecasts.
 
Why, then, do they spend countless hours every year talking about poofs of convection in the deep Atlantic that have no chance of ever becoming a threatening tropical system?

Because of their Florida interests, of course.
 
Kevin,

You bring up an interesting point about TWC's tropical coverage I forgot to mention earlier. It does seem odd that they'd devote a whole 5 minutes to covering the tropics each day at 50 past the hour, every hour, even when there is nothing to cover.

I could understand them giving extra attention to the tropics once something is present. But I cannot understand why they will take us on an entire loop of the Caribbean and Atlantic to show us....well, nothing. LOL. I mean could they at least wait until they had a tropical wave before they started discussing it?

<Sigh> Oh well, this is TWC we are talking about. While I like many of their OCM's, I am not too fond of the decisions the management makes there sometimes. TWC could be so much better with proper guidance. In fact, it once was, as recently as the mid-late 1990's. After that point in time, it really started downhill.

-George
 
Some of the tropical update segments are done more as a public service. Constantly talking about the tropics helps make people aware of hurricanes. It may seem repetative, but it saves lives.

Don't forget that everything you see on TWC is done for a reason. Consumer research dicatates everything they do. If it doesn't help the bottom line than they wouldn't air it.
 
If you look at a map of the United States, starting on the upper right (as you face it) and move downward, Boston is the first major city. It is a logical choice before New York, then Philadelphia,Washington, Atlanta etc.

Bill Hark
 
All this shows is what we have known for a number of years. TWC is irrelevent and mostly useless to anybody not in the NE (and they dont cover that too well either as you could see this past storm) or that has actual wx knowledge. it is a joke. The only useful thing on the whole channel is the local radar loops on the 8's. I can get more accurate and useful information from Al Roker :lol:
 
I worked as an intern at TWC in the 1980s. It was stated to me that they spend more time covering certain parts of the nation simply because their viewership was higher in those regions. At that time, the Northeast U.S. and Florida had the largest number of cable susbscribers, and thus, most attention was given to them. I wouldn't be surprised that this is still their policy.

Greg,
Oddly enough, Paul Kocin mentioned this at the AMS Conference in San Diego during his presentation on 2003-2004 Winter weather season. LOL it was kinda funny, since he actually said that they'll (TWC) spend more time in the 'big markets' since that's where the money is. I mean, I'd known it, but it was just kinda funny to hear it from the "Winter Weather expert" at TWC.
 
Paul Kocin has done quite a bit of research and has many papers out, and most NWS offices refer to winter storms in the northeast (especially the blockbuster storms) to be KU storms (Kocin & Uccellini)... Greg Forbes is pretty good as well, but they rarely give these 'experts' the airtime that they deserve...
 
Just look at the size (rankings) of the local TV markets in the Northeast area.

Nielsen's TV Markets (Top 50)
1. New York City
4. Philadelphia
5. Boston (Manchester)
8. Washington (Hagerstown)

22. Pittsburgh
23. Baltimore
27, Hartford-New Haven
42. Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York
46. Buffalo
49. Providence-New Bedford

Big Markets mean BIg Bucks for Advertising.

Mike
 
Paul Kocin has done quite a bit of research and has many papers out, and most NWS offices refer to winter storms in the northeast (especially the blockbuster storms) to be KU storms (Kocin & Uccellini)... Greg Forbes is pretty good as well, but they rarely give these 'experts' the airtime that they deserve...

I wasn't trying to imply anything about saying "Winter Weather expert", since that's how he's referred by from the other on-air TWC mets. He has done a lot of research into winter storms (particularly, Northeastern US winter storms), so I'm not discrediting him by any means...

Interesting that you brought up the fact that some NWS offices reference his recent book w/ Uccellini, as one of the discussions I read just a few days ago during 'blizzard '05' directly reference the Kocin and Uccellini Northeast Winter Storms book.

For what it's worth, it was interesting being able to talk to Paul Kocin, Dr. Forbes, and Dr. Nese at AMS.
 
TWC is something that "weenies" or chasers like us watch only when we've digested enough other better information that we think, "Gee, I wonder what TWC is thinking about this storm." or something similar.

TWC is something that common folk watch...just like the other TV mets...to brief them on what will happen. Will it rain, or won't it. They don't really care about the degree of it as long as its not significant enough to pose a life/property threat. Thats why when you talk to people they will probably say something like, oh I heard we could get a couple inches of snow and you'll be thinking in the back of your head, "Right, try a foot."

So, I've found it most useful to use government forecasts or make my own, which I'm becoming better and better at.

...Alex Lamers...
 
TWC is something that "weenies" or chasers like us watch only when we've digested enough other better information that we think, "Gee, I wonder what TWC is thinking about this storm." or something similar.

TWC is something that common folk watch...just like the other TV mets...to brief them on what will happen. Will it rain, or won't it. They don't really care about the degree of it as long as its not significant enough to pose a life/property threat. Thats why when you talk to people they will probably say something like, oh I heard we could get a couple inches of snow and you'll be thinking in the back of your head, "Right, try a foot."

So, I've found it most useful to use government forecasts or make my own, which I'm becoming better and better at.

...Alex Lamers...

I think you hit if 100% right on the head of the nail. That's exactly my train of thought as well, I only watch it when I am done doing my own forecast. I too think about the "couple inches", when your likely to get a foot...
 
Thanks a lot to whoever started this thread. I'm watching TWC right now and all I'm hearing is Boston, Boston, Boston. Now, I'm hyper-sensitive to whenever I hear Boston on tv.

Paul Kocin is a good guy. He visited my school a few years ago. We gave him a hard time about how they never talked about the snowstorms in Salt Lake City. He admitted that just wasn't good business for them. Oh, he's really kind of quiet too.
 
Thanks a lot to whoever started this thread. I'm watching TWC right now and all I'm hearing is Boston, Boston, Boston.

Of course, several things to consider here about "Boston":

1) Boston just received its biggest snowfall since 1978, some areas nearby with up to 38" of snow.

2) TWCs major supplier of weather information is from WSI which is based in the Boston area.
 
I know, I was trying to be a little funny.

They are also on the verge of breaking an all-time monthly snowfall record. Set way back at the beginning of the century....February 2003.
 
I wasn't trying to imply anything about saying "Winter Weather expert", since that's how he's referred by from the other on-air TWC mets. He has done a lot of research into winter storms (particularly, Northeastern US winter storms), so I'm not discrediting him by any means...

No, I didn't think you were trying to imply something, I just wanted to say that TWC gives these guys all but 2 or 3 minutes an hour to give expert analysis. I think during major events, the "experts" should have the airtime, since they generally know a bit more what they are talking about, and they convey it in a scientific way that everyone can understand.
 
I understand and agree with all the focus on the big markets of the country. That means bucks.

My only beef has been when there is a life-threatening severe weather situation. They ought to show radar more often, etc.

There are still many people in the "fly-over" parts of the US that can't pick up local TV, and TWC is their only source of weather information. Fortunately, with the expansion of NWR coverage, it's better. However, the potential to save lives should take precedence. Those are very short-duration events, and should not have much impact on ratings/profits.

My folks living in Eastland county, TX had that exact problem. They were in the Abilene TV market and were too far away to get a signal from TV. In the days before Dish, they couldn't get Dallas TV, which now they do, provide mediocre coverage of weather events until they get to Parker county.

NOAA weather radio just put a transmitter in Cisco, which near the lake where they live, so now they're set.

There were many MANY times from the time they moved there in '96 to just a couple years ago where they'd call me hundreds of miles away, and I'd sit on the phone talking them through the severe situation. They had TWC on c-band satellite, and had it on, and on more than one occasion, my mother would start cussing when they would go to the boat and beach forecast or light rain in the Northeast. She was really worried, and while I would be at school or work, she'd be worried and couldn't quickly decipher where she was on the radar they would show. They'd show a Texas or regional radar that wasn't zoomed in enough, then zoom in... but to the Dallas metro to say that nothing's going on yet.

Again, I understand the TWC philosophy, but this hasn't happened just a few times. It happened very often.

Now they have Dallas TV (lament above), but they also have NWR and satellite internet. My mother has become computer-literate by way of navigating all the weather information. I no longer have to hold her hand.

And she never turns to TWC anymore... ever.

MP
 
Originally posted by Kevin Scharfenberg
Of course, none of this really explains their bizarre idea this past weekend to go ahead and show \"Forecast Earth\" and \"Storm Stories\" during potentially the biggest northeast U.S. blizzard of the decade.
Perhaps this explains it?

http://www.lostremote.com/archives/003586.html

During the 8-9pm hour Saturday night, The Weather Channel split its air signal into two feeds. In the 22 markets battling the blizzard, TWC aired live snow coverage. The rest of the country saw the regularly-scheduled Storm Stories show. "[It's] just the tip of the iceberg" for customizing and localizing weather coverage, said Patrick Scott, president of the TWC Networks.
 
Originally posted by Bill Hark
If you look at a map of the United States, starting on the upper right (as you face it) and move downward, Boston is the first major city. It is a logical choice before New York, then Philadelphia,Washington, Atlanta etc.

Bill Hark

But doesn't the weather generally move from west to east across the country? Then why start at the last place weather systems will go?

Two more questions:
Doesn't CNN own TWC?
About the time TWC started to go downhill, didn't Turner Broadcasting, the parent of CNN, make a major acquisition?
 
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