Last updated: July 19, 2011 - 8:30am
As the nation moves through a year of remarkable floods, drought and its deadliest tornado season in half a century, the broadcast meteorologist has emerged as an unlikely hero. Increasingly, the weather is becoming a bigger part of the national conversation.
As scientists explore the implications of climate change and severe weather’s effect on everything from crops to urban infrastructure, broadcast meteorologists are the ones who bring it home every day in eye-popping computer graphics. “The weather is more extreme, the floods are wetter and the droughts are drier,” said Chris Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Weather Service. “That’s going to have real implications on society, and it elevates the need for more information and a need for those on-air personalities. It’s beyond what to wear for the day or do I need to carry an umbrella.” Gone are the days when the local weather guy had to climb on a tricycle at the clown parade. Now, the forecaster is the egghead of the newsroom. Most have advanced degrees that include courses in calculus and atmospheric thermodynamics.
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