"Isolated showers around the area will die a slow death overnight as lows fall to the lower 70s with patchy dense fog developing in areas that recieved rainfall. Expect more isolated showers and thunderstorms on Monday again with highs in the low 90 s. Hope for some rain it will cool temperatures off and create a nice breeze. About midweek it looks a tad drier with temperatures slipping into the upper 80s and low 90s."
Weather forecasters can be unbelievably wordy, especially in the Deep South. (All readers who feel the need to point out the similarity between said forecasters and a certain domesticat will be taken out into the back yard and beaten senseless with compound-complex sentences. You've been warned.)
Live down here for any stretch of summertime, and you learn that watching the weather forecast is pointless. Whatever needs saying can be summed up in these two sentences:
It's going to be hot.
It might rain.
"I don't know why they even have weather forecasters down here in the summer," Jeff said to me today while we were driving around town.
"Yeah, really. They could just freeze them cryogenically at the end of spring and then just occasionally thaw them out when the tornadoes come."
Just think—the local TV stations would have even more time to blow on other vastly important stories, such as "Kittens saved by local Boy Scout troop! Film and interviews at eleven!" (It is, after all, disingenuous of me to expect the TV stations around here to actually cover news.)
A quick scan of WAFF's news titles include the following vastly important news bits:
- Teens Travel to Florida for Religious Retreat
- Family Blames Teens for House Fire
- Telemarketer Leaves Elderly Lady Without Medication
- 48 Road Trip: Ocoee River
WHNT's are just as bad, although they're almost impossible to spot amidst the advertising:
- Family Battles Cancer And Bad Luck
- The Dangers of Strangers
- He's a One Man Statistics Machine
- Dog Swappin': Are Two Noses Better than One?
- Cadets Learn About Unity Through Discipline
- Teachers Getting Taste of Real World
Not surprising: given the importance of these stories, that the weather gets played up a bit. After all, tornadoes munch a few homeowners around here every year.
Actually surprising: that anyone even cares enough to watch.
Of course, it would be rather hard to rake in viewers (and, thus, get the almighty Advertising Dollar) if the entire nightly news show consisted of the following:
Woman: "Good evening, I'm Debbie Dingbat, and this is my co-host, Peter Pomposity. Peter, what's our top news story?"
Peter: "Nothing happened today, Debbie. Some kittens got rescued. The cops report that nothing happened today, but they want you to be vigilant in case something actually does happen someday. Our top story, though, is our newfound patriotism!"
Debbie: "Yes, Peter—we at your Generic Huntsville News Station are pleased to announce that for the foreseeable future, we plan to wave the flag and march in unison at least once during every broadcast. After all, it's only right that we support our troops out in….uh…."
Peter: "Afghanistan, Debbie. They're an awful long way from home, out there."
Debbie: (confused) "Why are our boys out there, again?"
Peter: "Now, let's pop over to David Chickenlittle, our Certified Meteorologist, to find out what the weather's going to be like in the Shoals for the next few days. David?"
David: (in shorts, cleaning his fingernails) "It's going to be hot. Might rain. Back to you, or something."
(Camera cuts back to Peter, who hurriedly puts down his glass of water and straightens his tie.)
David: "Yep. Same damn thing every summer. Can't believe y'all pay me to do this. I could phone this puppy in…it would do wonders for my golf game!"
Peter: "Uh, thank you, David, for that informative forecast. We'll check back in with you at the end of our show to get an update on tomorrow's weather— "
Debbie: "Peter, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I was just handed a news bulletin. We have a breaking news story. There is a litter of kittens stranded in a tree in Ardmore. We expect to have a news crew on the scene in about two minutes…"