If you watch local TV news, there's always something to worry about. Take this week's weather: sunny, warm ... and apparently a coiled snake ready to strike! Local stations are famous for over-hyping storms as reporters lean into Alki breezes as if they're the next Katrina or race up to Snoqualmie Pass to prove that — you won't believe this scoop — it's snowing in the mountains in the middle of winter! But it's not enough to exaggerate rain and wind: A little bit of sun is enough to spread alarm.
Which is weird because TV news' talking heads are always burbling on about how much they want our weather to be more like California's. Sunny days are always "good" days, and rain and overcast skies greeted with disappointment and harumpfing. Our usual Northwest weather is bemoaned as if most news anchors are extreme SAD sacks.
But sunny days are merely another excuse to over-hype possible negatives. A May day in the 80s? The local airwaves fill with warnings about the consequences of too much sun: There's avalanche danger in the mountains and the possibility of floods. Viewers are warned not to go into the water yet because it's too cold. KOMO has a reporter, Luke Ducey, who seems to get more than his share of assignments to find a gently babbling brook, and convey the impression that's he's at the ground zero of an impending apocalypse. It's the school of reporting Jim Forman made famous at KING.
Winter storms are gone. Summer is approaching. I'm sure the skin cancer and drowning features are being prepared as we speak to ring in the "good" weather that brings with it so much bad news.
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