I’m not a big weather watcher. I check it to see if I should ride my motorcycle or drive my truck. If I am hauling furniture for my wife, and activity that occurs far more often than you would believe, I like to make sure it won’t get rained on. Other than that, a glance out the window is about all the weather forecast I need. Apparently I am in the minority. A simple perusal of the app store will show you dozens of options for getting the most up to the minute predictions on your mobile device. You can get predictions for ten plus days in the future broken down into 15-minute increments. That is not presumptuous at all. I know they call them “forecasts” not “predictions,” but I feel that “forecast” gives them much more credibility than they deserve. I feel I am being generous since “guess” or “wild stab in the dark” seems to more accurately reflect their success rate. But I digress… The point is that we have become a weather obsessed society. Gone are the days of checking the clouds or “feeling” that a storm is coming. What is the fun of breaking a bone if you no longer need it to predict the weather? Social gatherings become lively when you proudly proclaim that “they” are calling for two more inches of snow than I just predicted. Now you have stolen all the attention and glory away that I garnered with my detailed report because your report is 15 minutes more current. No longer is weather the safe topic to discuss when meeting a new person or while on a first date. It is a badge of worldly knowledge and territory to be staked and defended. Our banter has descended to scenarios like, “Yes, yes. Cecily is usually quite accurate, but I was just studying the current radar scans and…” Are you kidding me? I have no idea how to predict the success of my picnic by watching blue blobs slide across a map and then start over in four seconds – and why does it keep starting over? It never changes. Some weather guessers have pity on me and add a clock graphic to let me know when it will start again. This helps reduce the motion sickness and disorientation, but it does nothing to clarify which vehicle is the safe option.
I think the weather thing got really out of hand for me recently with new tactics by the Weather Channel. My wife is a meteorologist wannabe. She can’t figure out how to get into the voicemail on her phone, but she could teach classes on the usage of at least eight different weather apps. For her the weather is not something you check in the morning, it is something you interact with all day long. If they call for something out of the ordinary, say wind above six miles per hour, the interaction becomes deep and personal. All that to say that she likes the weather channel and has approved their app to be the one I consult on my mobile device (since I foolishly insist that one source is plenty for me). I tap the blue TWC on my tablet expecting my weather curiosity to be sated in six seconds, but instead I’m confronted with a call to action. Just what I was hoping for first thing in the morning. At least the call to action is for an important cause that deeply affects all caring humans and swells a moral outcry within us that we cannot ignore. DirectTV has dropped the Weather Channel! Really? It has gotten that out of hand with our weather obsession. Forget starvation, clean drinking water and AIDS, we can’t get the weather channel on DirectTV. How will we get dressed in the morning. Who will tell us if we are getting rained on? Maybe it’s just me, but the weather report does not rank that high in my life priorities that I am going to stop my day to ask DirectTV to take back the Weather Channel. If you are a weather junkie and this posting offends you – my apologies. I’m sending some sunshine your way right now.