Stuff Journalists Like – #101 Weather Stories

Weather story “How about this weather?”

There are some things in life that can be counted on: people will always complain about gas prices, politicians under investigation will resign late Friday afternoon and if there is an abnormal amount of rain wind, snow or sleet, there will be some poor khaki-clad journalist out there reporting on the weather. 

When journalists wakes up to a hurricane or blizzard, they know that before the end of the day they will be drenched, knocked down by wind, and forced to choose between life and story.  They usually choose the story.

If this is a journalist’s first time reporting on the weather, a vital lesson will be discovered – pens don’t work in the cold. Use a pencil!

Truck stops, motels, Red Cross stations, restaurants and bars are all places journalists flock to during weather stories to capture that “human element” of the story.  And without a hint of irony, journalists will ask residents what they why they haven’t  fled the storm. 

Weather stories are the reason experienced journalists always carry a change of clothes in the trunk of their car that includes galoshes, boots, gloves, coats, a hard hat and a Nomex suit. Journalists never know when they will go from covering a city council meeting to being in the center of a hurricane in the span of an hour.

Journalists especially like it when their editors, from the comfort of their desks, direct journalists into the heart of a forest fire, hurricane, tornado or flood zone. As the rest of humanity is evacuated from a disaster area, journalists and first responders are the only ones headed into the storm.

Once a journalist has risked life and limb to cover the storm, which seven out of 10 times could have been accomplished by simply looking out the window, he or she will then hunt down a wi-fi connect to crank out a 20-inch story. The story will then inform readers about the weather the next day when it is nice and sunny out.


  1. Argh … weather stories. Hated having to do them. I guarantee you, there is not a single weather story in my portfolio.

  2. I covered a couple tornados before. It was fun until I was driving a beat up Toyota Corolla toward the wall clouds, when everyone else is driving the exact opposite way of us. Meanwhile, it was pretty sweet to hear more and more sirens start blaring the closer we got to the storm.

  3. pokerpeaker says:

    Some of my best stories are weather stories. Tornadoes and blizzards bring out the best in me.

  4. Ricky says:

    I’m in sports, and even I’ve had to do weather stuff. When Hurricane Ike hit, I had to call a dozen or so people every few hours to find out when they were canceling their events. I didn’t mind too much, though. After all, the people in South and East Texas had it a lot worse than I did. And I got to stay inside.

  5. Emilie says:

    I read this post with fear because I knew it would make me feel guilty for assigning so many weather stories. It did. Oh well. The WORST part about doing a weather story is asking a photog to get something to go with it. They get even grumpier than usual.

  6. Rachel says:

    You can add earthquakes, at least in California, to the weather-type stories.
    Reporter: So was anything damaged?
    Storekeeper: We lost two jars of applesauce that fell off the shelves.
    Reporter: Is that it? What did it feel like?
    Storekeeper: Well first I thought a car had crashed into the building. It was kind of like a low rolling thunder.
    Reporter: Sounds exciting, thanks for your time.
    The best is following the USGS site for how far out from the epicenter people felt the quake. You can bet those two applesauce jars at the store have been cleaned up by the time the photog can get there.

  7. Kristin says:

    Is this a list of stuff journalists hate?

  8. Weather stories are cool and the perfect forum for baroque overwriting. You can wheel out all the old cliches about mercury plummeting and Jack Frost visiting. I reckon it’s fun and even though it’s obvious people like reading about weather

  9. Zack says:

    I just found this website a few days ago. It is hilarious.

    Also, it is a little bit scary, considering I am currently in J-school.

    All that aside: Almost every post I have read on here has had some sort of grammatical error, typo, etc. It is really quite humorous. Haha.

Speak Your Mind