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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Weather? More like ‘the incorrect news’

I heard it will not snow in Bowling Green for quite some time. I know this because I watch The Weather Channel.

If you are not a regular viewer, let me fill you in. The Weather Channel is perhaps the most amazing cable channel ever created.

Nothing makes me feel more secure than knowing there is a channel out there that will tell me whether or not it will rain in Montana next Thursday.

Every ten minutes it gives you your local forecast, accompanied by the soothing sounds of today’s hottest elevator music artists like The Rippingtons and Eddie Reasoner. (To be fair, they do play some Pink Floyd once in a while.)

Before the Weather Channel, the best forecast was our own eyes. We would look up in the sky and see dark clouds. We would then tell our friends, “I think it will rain.”

Nowadays, we can instead ask the TV about the weather. The certified weather experts will look up in the sky, see those same dark clouds, and come up with a number in hopes of looking really intelligent. “There is an 80 percent chance of rain,” you might hear them say.

Thanks to this incredible cable channel, we are now incapable of walking five feet outside without knowing what the weather may bring. That’s right, you better tune into local Channel 40 (or Channel 15 in Toledo) so you can factor the humidity into how long your sleeves should be.

In all honesty, knowing the weather is not so bad. I don’t mind watching the local news before I — say — go to a Mud Hens game that night to make sure a menacing cyclone doesn’t envelop Fifth Third Field.

I’d look pretty foolish being tossed across the Maumee River by the strong winds, all the while crying, “Why didn’t I watch the Weather Channel?”

Wait, this probably won’t happen.

Local TV coverage would suggest otherwise. Let’s suppose I was watching Letterman after a hard day of working eight hours in a dusty warehouse. Then let’s suppose in the middle of that show, Channel 11 cuts away from Letterman to one of their weathermen, and he’s telling me about some thunderstorm three counties away from me. Let’s also suppose that this isn’t a hypothetical and it actually happened.

“So what?” I ask them. It’s a thunderstorm. Storms never kill anyone. To support my claim, I did something uncharacteristic of the typical Matt Sussman column and actually looked up some facts.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center contends that there were 1,442 thunderstorm-related deaths in the United States from 1994 to 2000. Break out that long division you learned in fourth grade and you’d find that averages out to 180 deaths a year.

That’s almost nothing — but certainly nothing that warrants me missing the “Will It Float?” segment on Letterman.

Adding insult to injury, weather coverage isn’t even accurate. One of the things I learned in journalism classes is that accuracy is crucial to good reporting. The weather forecast appears in the newspaper and on local news, and very rarely would its accuracy live up to a journalist’s standards.

Just last Sunday, the Weather Channel’s website ( claimed the high temperature in Brooklyn, Mich. would be 71 degrees. Well, it never got hotter than 67 that day. As a result, my toesies endured a brisker wind than I had previously planned.

And even if their educated guess is right, I have to hear it from Toledo’s local weatherman, “Blizzard” Bill Spencer. If you never watch NBC24’s portly weatherman, Spencer is a man who exudes tendencies people should never exude in public.

Then there are voluptuous weather sirens that aren’t even trying to be accurate. Jillian Barberie, who stumbles through a sub-par forecast for FOX’s “NFL Sunday” football pre-game show, barely passes as a weather-giver-outer-girl. Judging from her skimpy outfits, I think I have an idea of where her high-pressure system is.

However, those women are few and far between, and most of them only appear in a handful of my dreams at night.

Most weathermen are similar to Mr. Bill Spencer, and people like him are serenaded as local celebrities — mainly because cities like Toledo are in dire need of getting laid.

But what about his credentials as a meteorologist?

Well, ol’ Blizzard Bill says it’s going to storm today, with a high of 74 degrees and a low of 62. Maybe I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for once…

Wait a sec — is that snow I see?

Send your comments (or a more reliable weather forecast) to [email protected].

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