As the Storm increases in intensity, the Job of a Television Weather Officer becomes more and more serious

After the remnants of Hurricane Ida crumbled historical rainfall levels in the Northeast last year, ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee stood in front of a collapsed bridge in New Jersey and gave “Good Morning America” viewers a stark warning.

Ms. Zee said “human-caused” global warming does not cause hurricanes like Hurricane Ida. But the higher humidity in the oceans makes them more destructive.

“Extreme events that could have happened,” she said, “will become more extreme.”

A weather reporter’s job is always changing with the weather.

For decades, the men and women who predicted their best weather provided respite from the grim news, often playing a comic card about anchors. Before Willard Scott became the most featured weatherman of the 1980s on NBC’s “Today Show,” he played Ronald McDonald and Bozo the Clown.

But Ms. Zee and her colleagues find themselves following what may be the most serious story of our time. The weather is increasingly destructive already Okay Television meteorologists are more present in viewers’ lives. However, in the last few years, they have often tried to explicitly remind viewers that man-made climate change is a real and disruptive driver, putting lives and the environment at risk. dangerous.

“As a scientist and an atmosphere connoisseur, I not only have a passion, but a real connection to climate science,” said Ms. Zee, a meteorologist at Valparaiso University, said in an interview.

On CNN, meteorologist Derek Van Dam studied international politics in October with a report on the link between climate change and the migration crisis. Weather channel announced Last summer it will increase its coverage on climate change. Even local TV stations known for their five-day forecasts no longer shy away from the topic.

“In a weather broadcast, you usually want to give people what to expect,” said Jeff Berardelli, who moved to NBC’s Tampa affiliate in November after serving as a national meteorologist for CBS News. they are looking for at that time. “But when the opportunity presents itself, I will put it in its climatic context.”

In one posts on Friday about the impending blizzard over the weekend in the Northeast, Mr. Berardelli reported that warm waters off the Northeast could be responsible for much more frequent major winter weather events. The Tampa Bay area is also experiencing some extreme weather, with freezing temperatures expected on Sunday, which Mr. Berardelli thinks could be related to a storm thousands of miles away.

Al Roker, NBC News’ “Today” weather and feature host and longtime co-host, said that NBC News’ climate unit – the weather unit’s new name since 2019 – doesn’t try to “force the issue or beat you to the head.” Instead, the team draws careful correlations between extreme weather events and climate change.

By 2021, it has delivered over 50 segments related to climate change, unconstrained by weather forecasts – of droughts in the West, wet summers, fast powerful storms rapidly — compared with about 20 in 2019, Mr. Roker said.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of a important conference at the White House by more than 100 national and local television forecasters. Then-President Bill Clinton hoped that they would communicate the realities of global warming to the public.

But many meteorologists and climate scientists interviewed for this article say the tendency for weather figures to speak out openly about man-made global warming is much more recent, as a result of of climate change is becoming more and more serious. The topic remains politically divisive, with many conservatives – including former President Donald J. Trump – rejecting the overwhelming scientific consensus.

Meteorologist Amy Freeze (her given name, she notes) says that Fox Weather, a 24-hour streaming channel starting October, has acknowledged the issue. The channel has been set to Undertake Fox Business airs Saturday mornings and afternoons (as well as an early one on Fox News) to weather the weekend’s storm. She admitted that the topic was rife “in the political arena.”

“Our job is to help people live better lives and to give them information and tools that they can use in the here and now,” says Freeze. “So we’re going to cover climate change.”

James Spann, a meteorologist at the ABC branch in Birmingham, Ala., Written in a Medium article last year that he mostly avoids explicitly mentioning the climate to avoid alienating some viewers. “Say anything about the climate and you’ll lose half of your audience,” he said.

Other forecasters assert that the positive feedback on climate coverage far outweighs the negative feedback. “I don’t see my position as a bully podium,” Mr. Roker said. “It is information. You can broaden your horizons by presenting the truth.

“Our management and producers do not underestimate our audience,” he added. “I think politicians can.”

More than 1,000 meteorologists get free weekly TV boom Information, data and images on the link between weather and climate change from Climate Central, a non-profit organization organization partner with journalists to publish the truth about climate change. Forecasters “have been at the forefront of making these connections with the public,” said Bernadette Woods Placky, chief meteorologist at Climate Central.

Some meteorologists say they have used Climate Central’s aerials and materials. Elizabeth Robaina, meteorologist for the Telemundo branch in San Juan, PR, said she used graphics in Spanish.

Emily Gracey Miller, until last year, meteorologist at the ABC branch in Charleston, SC, praised Climate Central for responsibly delivering climate news in relevant and non-conforming ways. to educate.

“They’ll say things like, ‘Here’s how much warmer temperatures have affected over the past decade beer production,'” she speaks.

Ms. Miller’s channel was formerly owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation, which was formerly request its stations to run politically conservative news items. Ms. Miller said she feels she can discuss man-made climate change online. A representative for Sinclair did not respond to a request for comment.

Zee, the first female meteorologist with a major broadcast network, said she became interested in the weather in childhood when she watched hurricanes develop over Lake Michigan. As a teenager, she saw a future version of herself in the storm-chasing meteorologist played by Helen Hunt in the 1996 film “Twister.”

Now, she hosts a climate change recurring program titled “It’s Not Too Late,” which includes a 50-minute special about The Last Earth Day that airs on Hulu. She recently added the titles of chief climate reporter and executive editor of a new ABC News unit devoted to climate change. Topics she reports on include those related only to the weather, such as carbon-renewable technology.

“Someone said, ‘Why did you change into such an advocate? ‘ said Mrs. Zee. “Well, I have always loved the atmosphere, cared about it, respected it. But, mostly, this is just science. At the end of the day, I just tell you the science. ” As the Storm increases in intensity, the Job of a Television Weather Officer becomes more and more serious

Fry Electronics Team

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