(Photo via charliesweatherforecasts)
Broadcast meteorologists generally do an excellent job of conveying their forecasts with appropriate explanations of terminology and uncertainty. Their anchors on the other hand, love to produce teasers such as, “THE POLAR VORTEX IS BLITZKRIEGING TOWARD YOUR FAMILY. Find out more at 11.” Hyping a weather prediction is a sure fire way to reel in clicks and viewers, and the aforementioned polar vortex is the latest example of a meteorological buzzword commonly used out of context to generate said hype.
Every buzzword however, eventually loses its allure. When was the last time you saw anybody give a shit about acid rain? Sure, the acid rain problem improved, but it didn’t disappear completely. The public stopped caring because they eventually realized acid rain wasn’t corroding their skin on contact as the media originally hyped.
Every irresponsibly used buzzword has a lifespan. The public will soon deduce that the polar vortex is just a regular artifact of winter. Therefore the media must search for new meteorological terminology to fuel their hype engines. AtmoLife is here to present to you, dear media, these untapped buzzwords. Let’s dive into your new favorites.
Correct Definition: Any snowfall with a pH below 7. (AMS Glossary)
HYPE benefit: The best way to revive an old scare is to give it a simple wintertime twist.
HYPE Teaser: “Could your children be playing in dangerous ACID SNOW? Details at 6.”
BOMB / EXPLOSIVE CYCLOGENESIS / BOMBOGENESIS
HYPE Benefit: Bombs and explosions are scary, and because many nor’easters and other winter storms undergo explosive cyclogenesis, there are ample hyping opportunities.
HYPE Teaser: “Folks, if this BOMBOGENESIS heading your way was any more EXPLOSIVE, we’d call the Department of Homeland Security.”
Correct Definition: A sustained ridge of high pressure over the middle of the US inhibiting precipitation and leading to heat waves. (Memphis Weather)
HYPE benefit: People generally don’t like death, and the death ridge is a very typical summertime pattern thereby providing annual hype.
HYPE Teaser: “Will the incoming DEATH RIDGE turn the Midwest into Death Valley? Stay tuned.”
Correct Definition: A highly unstable atmosphere capable of producing strong thunderstorms if triggered. (EUMETRAIN)
HYPE benefit: Occurs almost daily over parts of the US during the spring. Also, guns.
HYPE Teaser: “Be sure to seek shelter today. This LOADED GUN weather should be considered armed and dangerous.”
Correct Definition: A trigger is a lifting mechanism, for example a cold front, that when combined with an unstable air mass (i.e. loaded gun) can produce thunderstorms. (theweatherprediciton)
HYPE benefit: Don’t worry media, I wasn’t just going to casually mention trigger without addressing it. Couples perfectly with your loaded gun hype.
HYPE Teaser: “Is PC culture responsible for TRIGGERED weather? Find out next.”