Is weather news and forecasting a commodity? Since the Internet has given us all easy access to the National Weather Service information, do we really need anything else?
My wife simply has to watch the local news report for the weather. Everything around our house stops about about 10:10 p.m. so Annie can turn on the local news.
Last night, when she interrupted “Mad TV” for this, I asked he if she had ever looked at weather news on the Internet. She hadn’t. So I took her to weather.com, entered our zip code, and showed her a 10-day forecast with nice little pictures. She was thrilled.
I mean, think about what your weatherman is doing. He talks a lot, but how much of that do you really need to know?
Do you care what the high temperatures were around the region? I don’t — I just want to know what they are in my immediate area. To be honest, I don’t really care what the temperature was, just tell me what it’s going to be.
Do you care about a “low pressure front” sweeping across the area? I don’t — just tell me the five-day forecast, because the only thing I care about is how the front is going to affect that forecast. Put another way, if I know it’s going to be 80-degrees tomorrow with a 40% chance of rain, do I really care why? No, not really.
It used to be that the local weather gave you access to information you couldn’t otherwise have. These guys that gave you the weather knew all the secrets. But now all the secrets are available to everyone, so are they adding value?
I hate writing this post because I don’t want to slam the local news. But is the weather portion of that newscast adding anything to what we already know?
The Internet has really leveled the playing field on access to information, weather news being a good example. And since the reach of the National Weather Service is, well, national, that’s pretty much the only place I go to find out what kind of day it’s going to be like tomorrow.