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.