How come the TV news people always warn us of the
coming hurricane season but you never hear them
announce the dreadful approach of the tornado season
or the coming season of thunderstorms and flooding?
What makes hurricane season so ďspecial?
I write this it is flooding big time in the
northeast. Massachusetts got 18 inches of rain in
two days and it is still raining there. I donít
recall the Weather Channel bombarding us with
warnings that the rain and flood season was about to
chase thousands from their homes.
Last month nearly a dozen people died in tornadoes
in Tennessee. I donít remember the doom and gloom
cable news report that the twister season was coming
and that experts were predicting four F5 tornadoes
But when the subject is hurricanes, the bad news
bears at the networks get really excited. They say
itís going to be bad; itís going to be really,
really bad. And then they show us the video of a
really bad hurricane but Ė have you noticed this? Ė
itís the same hurricane video they showed us last
year and the year before that.
feel badly for the people in Massachusetts and
Tennessee and all the other places that deal with
floods and tornadoes. But they live where they live
and they all know that their regions have certain
weather patterns at certain times of the year. They
just deal with it.
Just about everybody has to deal with some season of
rotten weather. Mother Nature is going to be
predictably angry at some time of the year no matter
where you live. In some places, she is going to be
really angry. Earthquakes and mudslides come to
California. Tornadoes rip across the country from
Texas to Indiana. Blizzards and ice storms bring
towns from Minneapolis to Macon to a standstill. But
we usually donít hear about these ďserious weather
eventsĒ until after they happen and only if
they have video to show us.
Yet, for some reason, hurricanes get special TV
attention before the season. Hurricanes are just two
months away. Hurricanes are just one month away.
Theyíre almost here. Youíre going to die.
When a hurricane is threatening Florida TV news
shows us a satellite picture of a huge, rotating
cloud covering the entire state of Florida and they
would gladly have us believe that the entire state
was about to be destroyed. But when they send their
big time anchor-person into the path of the
hurricane for eyewitness reports, they usually have
trouble making the weather look as bad as they want
it to look. (Full disclosure. I am so glad Dan
Call me a cynic but what networks are trying to do
is motivate us to stay right where we are and stay
tuned. Itís a way to promote the channel and call it
news. Fear sells, of course. Itís one of the most
powerful motivators, right up there with greed, love
and belonging. Be afraid. Donít leave the house.
Leave that dial right where it is.
Floridians know when the satellite photo shows a
cloud over Florida that under 98 percent of that
cloud everyday life goes on as normal.
The good news is, that big, rotating cloud has a
nice silver lining: Low hotel rates, low rates at
the attractions, low yacht charter rates. The "low
season" is a welcome incentive for Floridians and
others to travel about the state to see the sights,
visit the attractions, and go cruising, fishing and
sailing. Yep, hurricane season really is special.
Rather than getting spooked by the televised fortune
tellers of fear, information age travelers know to
log on to credible Internet weather sites to see for
themselves the real-time satellite and radar images
of storms and storm tracks.
Know this: in the absence of official warnings from
the National Hurricane Center you can come to
Florida during the bargain season with the rational
assurance that the sky is not going to fall while
you are here.