EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 21, 2014

Column: All weather, all the time can become an obsession

Seven thousand lightning strikes in 15 minutes!

I panicked! Where? Where? It took another 15 minutes to find out. Chicago. What a relief to someone who lives in Washington.

But wait. The nation’s capital was in for “severe” thunderstorms and a temperature of 97 degrees! If that’s not bad enough, there is something called the heat index that makes it even worse, let alone the bone-crushing humidity.

If you have absolutely had it with bad news -- Iraq, Syria, Benghazi, the president’s low popularity, Cleveland’s trigger-happy police force -- do not switch to The Weather Channel.

The intensity of TWC’s weather bunnies makes CNBC’s money honeys seem way too laid back. And guess what? There is always bad weather somewhere.

You know you are becoming your parents when you find The Weather Channel mesmerizing. The bad thing, of course, is if you really, desperately need to know what TWC is reporting, you probably have no power. You are off the grid, and it will take two weeks before you get it back. I have been in a hurricane and a tornado and, trust me, two weeks is not just a random period of time I plucked out of the (charged) atmosphere.

If you watch too much of TWC (and are obsessed with Doppler radar), you begin to feel a sense of anxiety you can’t shake. Did you know that 23 percent of New Jerseyites (New Jerseyians?) with property damaged during Hurricane Sandy got no insurance money because of the “anti-concurrent causation clause” in their policies? How can you relax when TWC tells you that?

How are people in Phoenix supposed to go to work when they hear that the temperature will be five degrees above the normal of 112?

One simply cannot think good thoughts when TWC announces, “Do not go outside. Records are being shattered right now.”

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