Thursday, August 25, 2005

Unrealized potential.

I am sad to report that the Weather Channel Blog has not reached its full potential. Yes, there are entries from a variety of weather experts, and yes I am pleased to see that Jim Cantore has on his Weather-Is-Serious face.

And really I was downright thrilled to see that the most recent entry is from none other than my meteorological hero, Stephanie Abrams.

But all that said, I just don't think the Weather Channel understands what blogging is about.

Blogging really is not just a feeder for your website or your TV channel: unlike the new Barbie movie, it should not be about just another product tie-in.

Tony Pierce has noted that you really should not blog about the weather unless it is something serious or part of a good story or a a lead up to really hot sex.

But the Weather Channel is still figuring out their potential, even though the station came on the air for 23 years.

Mark Strand knows that the weather matters. "That's all / There was to it. No more than a solemn waking / To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly, / A time between times, a flowerless funeral," he wrote in "A Piece of the Storm."

Mrs. Dalloway opens her day wondering whether it will be fine for her party. Weather is about the passing of time and the fading (weathering) of things. It is also something we talk about to pass the time. It is beyond our control but flavors the happenings of our days. It is the way that the present and the future interact, although it is rarely mentioned when unturbulent.

The best blogs give you a flavor of a life, regardless of whether you know the person writing or don't, and regardless of whether that blog is, as Jarrett has said, an "I brushed my teeth today" blog, a political or economic blog, a series of musings on various topics, a blog obsessed with music or cooking or movies or babies or houseplants. Weather should be no exception. Surely we could get some flavor on that blog, couldn't we?

Here are just a few ideas for future entries:
1. A list of suggestions for what to do with your sinuses when a low pressure rolls in.
2. True rants of the househusband plagued by mildew and mold after the most humid summer on record.
3. Exclusive Insight for Southerners: what it feels like when your nostrils freeze--and when they thaw out.
4. Why it is not a good idea to go surfing when a tropical storm is rolling in, even though you see people doing just that in the background of the Florida footage.
5. What Landslides Mean for You, and Your Pets.
6. My Obsession with Tracking Hurricanes, even though I don't live on the coast (A True Story).

Are you listening Weather Channel? I've already got my very own Weather Channel mug, and I would kill for one of those jackets.

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