Weather coverage


Four weather writing lessons from someone who died more than 300 years ago

I have dear friends and family members from Maryland to Maine so I am paying special attention to their fate over the next few days.  The weather event has an interesting name:  a bombogenesis, more sinister, it sounds, than a polar vortex. Forecasters are describing a storm of “historic proportions,” one that might produce as much as three feet of snow in parts of New England.

To family and friends in Rhode Island, I say, only half in jest:  move to Florida. But not this week.

 Sir John Evelyn

Sir John Evelyn

I am a reading and writing teacher so it’s my habit to look for lessons in the journalism and literature of the past. In the case of weather, I have stumbled upon the work of a British author named John Evelyn (1620-1706). Read more


SiriusXM fires Anthony Cumia, HuffPost loses top U.K. editor

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories, plucked with no small effort from the post-holiday-weekend ether. From Kristen Hare, a world media news roundup. From Sam Kirkland, digital stories to ease you back into working life.

  1. HuffPost UK editor leaves for fashion-trend-forecasting firm: Carla Buzasi will join the firm WGSN. She “famously tracked down HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington to pitch a UK version of the news site following AOL’s $315m (£184m) acquisition in 2011,” Mark Sweney reports. (The Guardian)
  2. SiriusXM fires Anthony Cumia: Satellite broadcaster let the “Opie and Anthony” host go “after careful consideration of his racially charged and hate-filled remarks.” (NYT) | Cumia’s Twitter rant (Gawker) | Cumia “Has a Long History of Public Awfulness” (Gawker) | Fans launch “#CancelSiriusXM” campaign, change Twitter avatars to an picture of Che Guevara “with Cumia’s face superimposed on it.” (THR)
  3. Why a N.Y.
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President Barack Obama removes his jacket before he speaks about climate change at Georgetown University in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. The president is proposing sweeping steps to limit heat-trapping pollution from coal-fired power plants and to boost renewable energy production on federal property, resorting to his executive powers to tackle climate change and sidestepping the partisan gridlock in Congress. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama reaches out to forecasters on climate report

The New York Times | Politico

President Obama visited with weather forecasters Tuesday to discuss the National Climate Assessment, Justin Gillis reports in The New York Times. His administration “hopes to use the report to shore up public support for the president’s climate policies as he attempts to put new regulations in place to limit emissions.”


The administration’s decision to use meteorologists “absolutely is a great move,” American Meteorological Society Executive Director Keith Seitter told Politico reporter Darren Goode. “The meteorologists that are on TV are the ones in your living room every night, and people tend to trust them because they are getting good, reliable information on the weather every day.”

Meteorologists are, as a group, not always on the same page as climate scientists: A draft report the AMS published last year found that only 52 percent of its members believed that global warming is real and caused by humans. Read more

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WGAL photo

How WGAL TV kept the newsroom running when the roof collapsed

WGAL-TV (Lancaster, Pa.) News Director Dan O’Donnell was on the other side of the building from the newsroom at 3:20 Friday afternoon when he said he heard “what sounded like a truck backing into the building. Others said it sounded like thunder. Then ceiling tiles came down. The newsroom roof was collapsing.”

Engineers discovered a concrete support beam and slab had shifted and dropped. Luckily, no one was injured.

Snow packed WGAL-TV’s rooftop. A beam shifted forcing the station to evacuate. (Photo from WGAL used with permission)
Lancaster has been buried in snow for the last couple of weeks. “It was snow related,” O’Donnell said, “We covered three or four roof collapses before we had our problems. We had a foot of snow this week, 8 inches fell the week before. Read more
APTOPIX Winter Weather Atlanta

Journalists share pictures of an empty Atlanta

On Jan. 29, Zoë Schlanger wrote about the storm that hit Atlanta for Newsweek and how the city looked like something from “The Walking Dead.”

Images from that piece were full of abandoned cars.

And on Jan. 30, Ian Bogost wrote a story for The Atlantic about how shows like “The Walking Dead” prepare people for catastrophic events.

But maybe it was what happened in late January that really helped prepare people in Atlanta for the ice that’s settled in and the ice that’s on its way now. Here’s how Atlanta looked Wednesday from the viewpoint of several journalists.

A lonely car makes its way through Atlanta on Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

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Weather Channel wants your photos of snow-covered patio furniture

The Weather Channel

If you’re worried that your photos of snow-covered patio furniture will no longer be televised after KUSA-TV anchor Kyle Clark pleaded with viewers to stop sending them in, The Weather Channel has a message for you.

“We don’t feel that way here at The Weather Channel,” host Matt Sampson says. “We love your patio furniture. It’s a convenient photo op for you, and gives us a great idea of weather conditions in your area.”

He then proceeds to sing. “Furniture on the patio / Covered in ice / Covered in snow / Furniture on the patio / There’s no place I’d rather go / Everyone here at The Weather Channel / Feels the same way.”

Is there a slideshow of snow-covered patio furniture photos? Read more

A winter storm approaching the East Coast has been blamed for over a dozen lives since moving across the country from California. (National Weather Service)

Time to prepare as storm approaches the east

The New York Times |

As a winter storm cuts its way through the South and lumbers closer to the East Coast this week, it’s a wise newsroom that’s planning not just for a severe weather story but also for an emergency that could stop its presses or take down its website.

As of Monday night, forecasters expected the storm to bring rain, ice and snow to the South, with two to four inches of rain predicted for eastern cities beginning Wednesday. Airports from Boston to Washington, D.C., may be hardest hit, but the storm could also complicate holiday driving, the National Weather Service said.

Travelers in the East may see the effects of the storm as early as today, according to the Times. Read more


Gary England on covering Oklahoma tornadoes for 42 years: ‘I don’t have to tell them it is scary’

In 42 years of Oklahoma City weathercasting, KWTV’s Gary England estimates he has tracked more than 1,000 tornadoes, and without a doubt, that estimate is “on the low end.” When he started his TV career in 1972, he wrote on his weather map with chalk.  Nine years later, KWTV says “England became the first person in history to use Doppler radar for direct warnings to the public.”  He even appeared in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Twister.” In November he will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

England: “There will be time to look at video of destruction later.”

In those years he had developed a mantra that he says he pushes his team of seven meteorologists to follow on days like Monday, when a mile-wide tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. Read more


The story behind that Reuters storm photo featured on four major front pages

Brian Snyder had no idea his storm photo appeared on the front pages of four major newspapers this weekend until people started sending him links about it, he said by phone Sunday afternoon.

These four papers (and a few more) featured Snyder’s photo on Saturday’s front page.

A senior photographer for Thomson Reuters, Snyder has covered five presidential campaigns, the Super Bowl, and most recently a snowball fight between students at Harvard and MIT. Read more

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Same photo appears on front pages of NYT, WSJ, WashPost, NY Post

It’s not unusual for a single image to dominate a news event. But it is unusual for the same photo to be prominently featured on four major newspapers. Reuters photojournalist Brian Snyder captured the front page image (shown below) in Boston on Friday, as the storm was arriving. Only the New York Post uses the name ‘Nemo’ to refer to the blizzard that has dumped several feet of snow in the northeast and left thousands without power. || Update: The story behind Brian Snyder’s photo || Related: New York Times, Wall Street Journal drop paywalls for storm coverage | How Wall Street Journal, NPR are using RebelMouse for storm coverage, Fashion Week Read more

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