The Weather Channel has turned 30, no longer a mess child or a wild teenager or a young 20 something... 30. And, the Empire State Building was lit up in blue for the occasion. Great picture from Stephanie Abram's Facebook, she has to be the poster girl for moving meteorology forward into the world of social media. She's online, she's on Twitter, she's on Facebook and I'd bet she has an account on Tumblr. And, as always TWC keeps constantly evolving as it moves into it's fourth decade on the air, online and on your cellphone.
There's a saying "change, or be changed" and in the ever changing world in which we live.... TWC stays on top of change always.
Anyway, all day yesterday I thought on TWC and yet every time I went to write something I put on TWC for inspiration but alas I couldn't find the weather... I did however see more than one episode of taped segments about disaster, lifeguards and something that even I couldn't figure out what it was without watching the whole thing and well.. I wanted to see the weather so... I changed the channel.
A sort of sad commentary on the current state of The Weather Channel, but hey if it works and it's keeping them there... whatever... I turn it on during the 8s to see if they are doing weather or entertainment and I usually switch the channel if it's not showing me what I want to see.
I want to see weather.
I am probably in the minority as many of my weather friends love watching to see the same couple rescued in a re-enacted drama and they don't complain as much as I do on the nonstop, Deja Vu episodes that remind me of those fluffy, fiction books that come out almost monthly by the same author that read as if a computer program wrote the story.
Heroine. Choose color hair.
Location. Choose town
Hero. Choose color hair.
Conflict: Choose a conflict.
Does it matter if they are in Maine or Maryland? She's alone, she's had some sort of sadness in her life, she moved to a new town or traveled somewhere, she met a man, he may be good, he may not be good, can she trust again? Some thing forces her to trust again. Etc...........
That's personally how I feel about watching the Storm Stories sort of episodes. I do however watch the Weather Chase stories :)
That's TWC today...something for everyone...and for me it's usually Weather on the 8s and of course there is the music...
I remember the first time I ever heard about a TV station that was going to based on just Weather. A Weather Station...Weather Channel.. weather... was all I heard, all day... just weather.
I sat mesmerized as if it was the biggest breaking news, as if some breaking news of the highest order had just happened. John Coleman was on ABC Morning News (which I actually used to watch) and he was talking about a new channel coming on Cable TV and why he was going to leave ABC.
I smiled. What a thought. The Weather on all day.
Okay, you have to be a weather nut to really think that's the coolest thing, but hey I had a son who would have watched NASCAR 24/ if he could have at a certain time in his life and except for a random wreck all the cars do is drive around in a circle, over and over and over (Hi Zalmy if you are reading this) and I had a little girl who would watch ballet mesmerized once upon the time ...
So, being able to put on THE WEATHER at any given minute or moment in my life sounded like a dream. Sadly, it still does...said with a smile. But, having TWC the way it is is better than not having it at all. And, things are forever changing on TWC.
Oddly, it seems that it took them 25 years to figure out what everyone already knew... people like having a "Weather Girl" on TV in the morning. You'll note the women do the morning and you see more men showing up as the day progresses. They are in dresses these days, something I always wanted so not going to complain on that one... why they had to stand there in stiff suits or odd layers doing weather always seemed stunted not natural. I suppose jeans and tee shirts on Friday would work as well or maybe leggings and long sweaters, hey sex sells right?
Seriously though, I don't think it's all about sex as much as about being natural, fun, informative and there being continuity. People love continuity. They love knowing that the local weather is on the 8s and they love knowing who they will see every morning.
With all the Weather Apps out there the one thing that your tablet, computer or phone cannot do is do live talk and discussion.
Nothing like sitting in bed, half asleep wondering on the big decisions in life "Coffee or Nespresso this morning" and trying to focus your eyes and turning on the TV and watching the Weather for the day. Yeah, my son probably does that with his Apps but hey I'm Old School and he's not. And, therein lies the reason that TWC has tried to do a more entertainment style weather show.
I love Stephanie Abrams. I think she does a great job...when she is doing weather. She can think and talk and walk all at the same time. That seems to make some people nervous who miss some of the older OCMs who stared like a deer in the headlights and just read the weather. Not that some of them were not good, many were but many were not. A few you could never figure out how they even made it on air...
Many are gone... like Dave Schwartz who entertained the late night crew. Jim Cantore's hair is gone, but he is still around though seemingly playing the senior weatherman role these days.
Love it or hate it.... and so many love to hate it... it's still on after all these years.
Do I have my favorite TWC moments?
Sure.... though most are somewhat personal.
Having my best friend go on a rant that they said it was going to be "one degree" in Portland, Maine. "One, one??? Seriously one? Why bother even saying anything ... they had to say 1 degree vs Zero" ??? Never argue with my best friend when she is on a TWC rant...
Doing a Hard Copy episode with her while the camera man in the house waited through endless commercials to get a shot of me watching TWC on my little TV in the kitchen... one commercial after another after another after another after another.... and he looks up with his hand on his hip annoyed and says "Wow, they really do have a lot of commercials don't they?" Someone, somewhere has at least 4 hours of unedited footage of me and my best friend cracking up and joking with the camera crew which was probably better than anything that was actually aired or that you have ever seen on TWC. Including some older pre-teen walking in the house and saying, "seriously Mommy, seriously??" and walking out annoyed... lol. Oh yes, laughing out loud at the thought. Funny video, hope whoever has it enjoys it... (yeah I know you do... )...
Watching TWC talk on a cold front that might actually make it's way down to Miami in the mid 1980s, first cold front of the year....they had a new set up on TWC. (That is the one thing that never changes, they are always changing their set up).
Watching TWC in October of 1992... possibly November of 1992...after we FINALLY GOT IT BACK AFTER HURRICANE ANDREW and they had changed the whole set up while we were away waiting for our cable wires to be restrung...
Watching Hurricane Andrew in retrospect on the tape that SNONUT sent me...funny, love watching Mike Seidel doing his Spanish Update and watching Jim Cantore at his most intense and watching in real time what happened after the power went out in our house on Miami Beach during Hurricane Andrew. Thank you... again... loved it.
And, John Hope doing his Tropical Update...
I can't imagine the new crew at TWC covering a hurricane like Andrew today the way they did then but then again they would bring in Bryan Norcross :) and others and but got to tell you no one was John Hope.
There was this quiet, urgency about TWC in the old days. For Baby Boomers it was like watching a space flight at NASA. All those TVs in the background, all the scrolls... the data, the serious and sincere weather men doing their job keeping us informed. I miss it. Okay... admittedly I am a weather geek but.... it was fun.
Weather is always fun... immediate, real... happening... isn't that what I said way back when?
I stand by it now...
And, trust me on June 1st, 2012 I'll be turning on TWC and watching the first Tropical Update of the year like I do every year... and then I will know the 2012 Hurricane Season has really started.
This morning I watched Phil Ferro in Miami doing the weather online... far away for a few more days watching him do the weather back home. I guess I am not so old school as my favorite source for immediate weather news is Twitter...
<-- Phil doing a good job explaining Miami's weather.
Of course, I just put on TWC and they are doing a "Travel Segment" discussing which airports are best and which are worst. This is why ....btw... I no longer watch morning news shows. Also, it's taped because... now Stephanie is in a nice grey suit and a few minutes ago she was wearing a great dress...or maybe that segment was taped, who knows...who can keep track. I'm obviously still watching.
And, the first thing I do whenever I am in a new city, while traveling on the road... I put on TWC and look at the new map, with some sort of visual verification that I am truly there... in Key West, NYC or Savannah... I know I am really there when I watch the local weather on the 8s and see the city on the radar image ;)
Love it or hate it... TWC is now 30 years old, still crazy after all these years...
Small note here... there have been a lot of earthquakes off the coast of California, near Big Sur..they have been upping the ante and are now in the stronger range than "just 2.6" and we might want to watch California for more earthquake activity... I know I have been watching. Also, note the play between Alaska... California...has been going on for a bit now... worth watching. Even Hawaii has had action. Seems that part of the Pacific Arena is active...
Some good links to read:
(history and background on TWC)
Dave Schwartz Classics:
Paul Kocin knows his weather...
Personally liked this team:
(long clip, pretend it's the old TWC)
Ummmmm, well enjoy ;) Lisa Moser and Bob Stokes... I think...
Classic Jim Cantore Thundersnow moment ;)
. (some people love dust devils, some love thundersnow...)