|BROADCAST METEOROLOGY INFLUENCE
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Weather forecasts are available from the National Weather Service (NWS) and private forecasting companies. These forecasts are readily available
online and through cell phone apps. Channels are available on cable and satellite that have continuous weather coverage. Why are broadcast
meteorologists needed at TV stations throughout the nation? What influence do these broadcast meteorologists have on the general public?
The answers to these questions will be addressed next.
Clearly there must be some elements in place that convinces networks to retain shows with news coverage, sports coverage and weather coverage.
For decades now, the structure of TV stations having morning, noon and evening news broadcasts has been in place. Three elements are
important to the continuing use of newscasts. These elements are local coverage, personality, and the ease of getting the information.
A broadcast meteorologist should keep these three elements in mind. Without them, many more viewers would get weather information
from other sources more often.
When a viewer tunes into a weathercast, they typically are going to be interested in the weather and expected weather for the city and
nearby cities that the viewer lives. In cases of severe weather, viewership can grow dramatically during these events. Thus, a powerful
weathercast in cases of severe weather can build followers for future weather broadcasts even on future typical weather days.
Two qualities help grow viewership which are professionally delivered weathercasts combined with an interesting personality. In many
ways a weather broadcaster is a famous person. Entertaining and educational weathercasts are a positive quality that helps grow viewership.
Being an expert in severe weather situations is also critical.
It is the case though that people can still get all the weather information they need instantly online and through a smart phone while a
TV broadcast is shown live only at certain times. A reason why people still tune into the local broadcast meteorologist is through the
ease of getting the weather information and due to tradition. People that grew up watching weather broadcasts on local TV stations are
going to be comfortable and conditioned to getting weather information in this way. Also, the weather broadcaster can explain the
weather in ways that is not done online or that would take too much effort to get online. It can be easier to relax in the chair
and have the weather explained by a meteorology authority without having to click around online and read through forecasts. Many
broadcast meteorologists make their own forecasts, thus many viewers trust these weather broadcasters more than a general
forecast posted online.
In summary, there are several reasons why weather broadcasts continue to be shown on local TV stations. These reasons include local
coverage of weather information, the personality of the weather broadcaster and the ease of getting weather information from a weather
broadcaster on TV. These three elements should be kept in mind throughout a weather broadcasting career. It is important to be a weather
authority (especially during severe weather), have entertaining broadcasts (especially on boring weather days), focus on local
weather information, and make it relatively straightforward for the general public to understand what is being talked about.