Weather Channel: Lost Cause OR Tremendous Expansion

HOWARD MEGDAL: Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure there’s an audience for Full Force Nature. It Could Happen Tomorrow must be delightful for those who want to know exactly what it will feel like to die from too much sleet.

But I watched the Weather Channel so that, yes, I could find out the weather.

So TWC’s decision some time ago to stop the scrolling local weather at all times was upsetting to me. I would stick around to watch the temperature, the humidity-I was knowledgeable about not merely my local barometric pressure, but also whether it was rising or falling.

But maybe others weren’t as curious- TWC needed to keep people interested. So I totally get “Weather on the 8s”. At least TWC has you for ten minutes.

Last week, however, I waited patiently through the requisite ten minutes. But on the 8s, I didn’t receive my local forecast. I got to see maps detailing precipitation throughout the country. I saw five-day forecasts for Seattle.

I didn’t need to know the weather in Seattle. I knew it was raining. I wanted to know what to wear out of the house.

This is no trivial question. American history has turned on one’s decision to wear or not wear a jacket-just ask William Henry Harrison, who celebrated his 100th day after being sworn in as president by spending his 70th day as a dead person.

While I am not suggesting that I am presidential timbre, it is not far-fetched to suggest that others far more qualified than I am to be leader of the Free World could be watching TWC. Let’s keep them well protected in winter and properly hydrated in summer.

And for the rest of us- you’re The Weather Channel. Show us the damn weather-where we experience the weather. End of story.

CHRIS PUMMER: I offer simple yet straigtforward advice for folks waiting in frustration for their local weather forcast on the Weather Channel.

Quit whining like a bunch of selfish sissies and wait your turn.

Look, we already know you complainers are lazy. That’s why you can’t walk across the room to your computer to get in information in an instant. Or be bothered to open a window and poke your head out.

As great as your sense of entitlement must seem, it is miniscule compared to my need to see the five-day forcasts of cities where I don’t live and probably never will.

I live in Chicago. In January, I know it’s going to be cold enough to freeze my nuts off. In July, I know it’s going to be hot enough to… go ahead and conjure your own imagery.

We don’t need the weather forecast. We need to stoke our imaginations.

During the depths of a long deep freeze, from beneath my layers of blankets, I watch The Weather Channel with a sense of longing. You say it’s only in the 40s with rain in Portland, Oregon? I’d like to visit there. It’s in the 80s and sunny in Austin, Texas? Looks like I’ll need a passport if Rick Perry wins re-election.

Knowing the weather in other cities is a window to another life. Want to be a survivalist? The weather for Butte, Montana is coming up. Can you see yourself on a surfboard? Looks like Hawaii has some fine forecasts. Or would you rather ride the waves in San Diego?

If we had to look at our own weather every 10 minutes, we’d be lining up to jump off the Sears Tower’s observation deck.

I’m not ready to give on soaking up the sun vicariously. So wait patiently for your local weather. It might even brighten your mood on a cloudy day.

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