Weather Forecasting Requires Doppler Radar, Nice Hair

By Marshall Camp

The only difference between meteorologists and T.V. weatherpeople is
that the latter have no idea what the hell they're talking about.

A friend of mine told me the other day that when he complained to his
doctor about bothersome allergies, this trained medical professional
suggested that the culprit might be... you guessed it, El Niņo!

This prompts the inevitable question:  is there anything left that,
thanks to T.V. weatherpeople, we aren't blaming on El Niņo?  Severe
weather?  El Niņo!  Bad allergies?  El Niņo!  Lost the remote?  El
Niņo!  Wife isn't into a threesome?  El Niņo!

The most likely explanation for this is quite simple.  T.V.
weatherpeople, using modern technological marvels such as Doppler radar
and satellite imaging, can tell you with almost 97% certainty that they
have absolutely no idea how to turn "on" technological marvels such as
Doppler radar and satellite imaging.  One weatherperson noted that his
weather map has "not been changed since the Louisiana purchase, which,
according to Doppler radar, occurred a long, long time ago."

This knowledge gap exists because the criteria for T.V. weatherperson
rarely include "long and extensive meteorological studies" and more
often focus on things such as "well-trimmed fingernails."  The logic is
that viewers trapped in their house by an unexpected six-day blizzard
will, after they start eating the family pets, be much less likely to
write nasty letters to the T.V. station if the weatherperson has nice

In fact, it turns out that "television weatherperson" and "trained
meteorologist" are two completely unrelated things, much like "French
people" and "regular showers."  (I should note that this is not the case
in Oklahoma.  Oklahoma weather is so unpredictable that everybody is
knowledgeable about the weather, because, if you weren't, odds are
pretty good that you would eventually be struck in the head by something
such as lightning, flying livestock, or Willard Scott-sized hail.)

For the rest of you, here are a few ways to tell weatherpeople from

     Meteorologist:  Spends entire dinner explaining the atmospheric
     changes that result from El Niņo-driven weather patterns
     Weatherperson:  Spends entire dinner trying to order an "El Niņo
     with cheese"

     Meteorologist:  Watches barometric pressure for any sign of motion
     Weatherperson:  Watches M.T.V. for any sign of 1980s hit song

     Meteorologist:  Spent college years studying the complex mechanics
     of the global jet stream
     Weatherperson:  Spent college years studying the complex mechanics
     of the Honey Bear bong

Of course, there is a way to get even less precision than T.V. weather
forecasts, and that is the annual Farmer's Almanac.  This perennial
prognosticator dates back to the early days of American history, when
the Almanac consisted of predictions such as the following:

     Wednesdays:  "Very good chance of following Tuesdays, although
     likely to happen before Thursdays."

     Winter:  "Colder than usual, or at least cold now and then, or
     at any rate colder than summer.  Probably."

     Summer:  "Likely to be hot, so if buck-toothed cousin Earl shows
     up in a tank top, be sure to wear ye a surgical mask."

The modern Almanac, on the other hand, actually contains answers to such
subtly erotic questions as "Why aren't your tomatoes big and plump?" and
"Will that timber you cut last night under a full moon be good for
burning?"  The answers, as any good weatherperson knows, have something
to do with El Niņo.

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