Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day

  • Winter storm names aren’t going away. You can complain all you want but they’re likely here to stay. I see the benefits of winter storm names but I also see the disadvantages. It is a flawed naming system and the guidelines to naming need to be shored up and re-evaluated. The largest areas for improvement include the absence of western U.S. (snowless but powerful) winter storms and a naming process unfettered by population. Still, I can see a time when The Weather Company’s names will be “whitelisted” by other organizations including the National Weather Service. On an anecdotal note, I’ve noticed that the outcry of people bemoaning the naming has quieted over the past year.
  • Chasers gonna chase. There will be chaser convergence. They’ll chase at dusk, at night, in heavily forested areas, and in heavily populated areas. They’ll get too close to the action. They’ll scream and yell; acting like they’ve never been in a severe weather environment before. It’s off-putting but it’s the amateur (and occasionally the professional) chaser mentality and it’s not going to change. I predict that some form of legislation will eventually be brought in to quell the chaser “movement” but until then, chasers gonna chase. And really, they have every right to. You can also count myself as hypocritical. I’ll complain now but come severe weather season, I’ll be the first person to pass on a chaser video or photo via social media.
  • The use of “polar vortex” is not going away. It’s now woven into the fabric of popular culture. As a meteorologist, I’m not pleased at how misconstrued the term has become but in reality it’s too late to try to tame its usage. Moreover, I hardly ever (maybe never) used the term before it became popularized. There’s no need to get bent out of shape over its use. There are plenty of other “bad meteorology” wars to wage. This fight is over.
  • Some meteorologists on social media and print will continue to be arrogant know-it-alls. Sometimes they speak the truth and you should give a listen. Other times, you can’t hold back and debate…on the internet. And still other times, a click of the mute button will do you good. My only hope in 2015 is that when we dish out our weather sarcasm on social media or in print, we do so in a less vindictive or less caustic fashion. Funny sarcasm I enjoy a good deal but y’all can be brutal sometimes.
  • A highly destructive storm will occur in the United States and/or globally and it will be blamed on climate change.
  • A lack of destructive storms in 2015 impacting the U.S. or globally will be blamed on climate change.
  • Many people will continue to believe that hail is winter-time precipitation and will be absolutely astonished when hail piles up on their lawn during a summertime severe thunderstorm. “It’s 82 degrees and it’s hailing. #SMDH #OMG #climatechange” | Please pardon the snideness but the belief that hail only occurs in winter is a pet peeve of mine.

OK, Some Things May Change

  • Prediction: More meteorologists will begin creating their own TV/internet studio. This is not a new idea. In fact @kevinselle wrote about this back in 2013. But as the local TV news viewer model continues to break down thanks to the internet, you may see more and more meteorologists take matters into their own hands. One home studio pioneer is Geoff Fox. While beginning a new job with KMIR in Palm Springs, he is also creating a new weather studio.
  • On the same note, I think you’ll see more and more Roku weather channels popping up. I’m not just talking about a channel displaying temperature readings and sky icons. I’m talking weather channels with talent and a production budget. Something perhaps along the lines of Weather Nation’s streaming broadcast albeit a bit more rough around the edges. 2015 won’t be the year when local/national TV weather makes a full transition to Roku or other internet video streaming set-top boxes but it could be the start.