When I was just a wee little lad, I remember listening to the Harry West Show every morning on WARM-AM in Scranton, PA. Harry was a quirky little devil who got ratings despite his vaudevillian routine decades after vaudeville was declared dead.
A staple of Harry’s morning show was AccuWeather Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. Based in State College, PA, AccuWeather is still considered one of the formidable players in the art of weather forecasting even after the birth of the Weather Channel.
Elliot was a professional meteorologist and conducted himself on the air as such, albeit, he did inject humor into his casts but never used the weather as a means to inflict fear.
Boy have things changed!
I was in Scranton this week when a major winter storm hit the northeast dropping 22-inches of snow in my backyard and made travel a bit tricky. But it wasn’t the end of the world as some made you believe. Sure it was a big snow, but we’re in the northeast, we expect these type of weather events.
One of the terms used by none other than our friends at AccuWeather this time around was “snowicane.” Just what is a “snowicane” you may be asking? Well, apparently it’s a snow storm coupled with hurricane force winds. I tend to believe the definition centers more around sensationalistic journalism than anything else.
In a world where we sit in front of the television for hours to watch a California freeway chase, or log onto TMZ multiple times a day to see who Tiger Woods slept with last night, “snowicane” tends to fit right in.
What happened with delivering the news and weather straight up without the added dose drama? I’m a little sad to see that such a respected name like AccuWeather didn’t maintain their integrity by calling this weather event a “major winter storm” but dropped their pants like a mall parking lot flasher and shocked us with a term designed to instill fear.
Once AccuWeather started using the term, the rest of the mainstream media jumped on the bandwagon as well. The fear-mongers who sit around coming up with words that make us say “wow” are probably working on the term to call the next big storm this very moment.
While they’re working on that, here’s some pictures I took of the storm around my neighborhood.