I was talking to a former news director of mine last week as he is looking for a replacement weathercaster. He asked why do all the applicants look the same? They show the same graphics ( hour by hour, model runs, fogcast etc), do the same rundowns (local, local, local) & hardly ever story tell & show they have any real weather knowledge. Oh sure, all are pretty/handsome, all are good communicators, but what happened to the characters we used to have? My answer was easy. It’s the CONSULTANTS all stations use to “guide” their talent. The consultant tells the weathercasters what to say & how to say it. That’s why they all look & sound alike. Back in my day (50s & 60s), the weather segment had characters. Sonny Elliot in Detroit would combine words to make new words ( Smoke + haze + Smaze, Smoke + fog = smog, Hot + Humid = Houmid). Some wore bow ties (Glenn Swartz in Philadelphia, Troy Dungan Dallas), some used sound effects (Harry Volkman Chicago) or creative graphics (John Coleman Chicago) while Roy Leep (Tampa) had his dog Scud on the Friday night weathercast dressed in garb viewers sent in for Scud to wear. Do you see any of that now? Nope. The last 3 were my mentors and I’m proud of them for helping me have a great 45 year run. This city loves characters. ( Buddy D, Hap Glaudi, Wayne Mack). I guess that’s why what I did worked here. I doubt we’ll ever see CHARACTERS anymore, just one flavor…vanilla.
We have been unusually warm the past 7 days with more to come. However, watching Bruce this PM & David tonight, they both pointed out the bitter cold developing over Alaska. As I have mentioned before, my experience shows me it takes about 10 days before that cold arrives here. Several models are bringing an Arctic Blast right down through the Gulf South late next week hinting at a Gulf Coast snow & Ice storm. We are likely to see Mother Nature try to balance off our very warm spell with a very cold week making for some interesting weather here. Don’t get too excited just yet. It’s still a long way out. In the short term, we will see several rainy periods develop with the potential for severe storms on Saturday. Since it’ll still be warm & humid, Lake & sea fog will remain issues through Saturday. Stay tuned!