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Breathless Hyperbole

Nothing is ever so bad that wussified media hand-wringing can't magnify into The End Of The World As We Know It.





Got that?

"This is a storm that poses an extraordinary threat and is one that no one has yet experienced in the Northeast and New England."

Dude, it's a Cat *One* -- in this neck of the woods, we get Nor'easters with winds that bump Cat One velocity.

We've "experienced" Cat Fours here that took out every bridge across the Delaware north of Trenton and put most of South Jersey under two feet of water.

Yeesh.

What are they teaching these kids in Weather-Guesser College these days, anyway?

33 Comments

Reminds me of Gloria...  I lived on Long Beach Island at the time and was one of the few people mobilized for the Guard just in case.  The cadre had a nice weekend shooting the breeze in the Toms River Arsenal, and as I recall we each got a check for something like $2.00, that being what NJ was paying at the time.  Did get a NJ State Service Ribbon out of it, though.  :-)  Similar end of the world hype.  Did you get called up for that one as well?

Related topic - did anyone start hyperventillating about storm surge and Oyster Creek nuclear station?  It is after all the same design as the Fukushima plants.
 
But Obama has already declared a state of emergency and he's the one who caused the oceans to stop rising and hope and change and, and, and. . .

Never let a crisis go to waste.

But what exactly IS a crisis. The media is sure giving him all the cover they can. I have to wonder how much he is going to spend on this crisis.
 
Gotta make THE WON look like a hero.  Gotta compare THE WON to the eeevillle Booosh.  Gotta take care of all of the helpless members of the welfare class who're already lining up for their FEMA credit cards.
 
I caught part of his oration yesterday. He doesn't have a real high opinion of American intellectual capacity, does he?
 
"He doesn't have a real high opinion of American intellectual capacity, does he?"  Considering the crowd he hangs with; and that they have kept him well insulated from us flyover people since he met Joe the Plumber, I can see where he would have that POV... ;)  
 
What do you mean, wussified media? Now that I no longer am in command of the worst crew on the waterfront, the entire Navy has turned to mush. The Second Fleet had to run like the babies they are and ride out the "storm" at sea. No one even knows how to drag race a ship in port anymore! 
 
I guess the above comment means the earthquake wasn't caused by Cap'n Bligh Graf hitting the pavement in civvies...
 
I think, Bill, you owe Bligh an apology.
 
Dude, it's a Cat *One* -- in this neck of the woods, we get Nor'easters with winds that bump Cat One velocity.

It's a Category 1 now.  But two days ago, when the warnings and alerts were issued, it looked like Irene might well be a strong Cat 3 by this time, and hit the Connecticut coast as a Cat 2. 

It's also a good two hundred miles across, and few if any Nor'easters get that big. 

What are they teaching these kids in Weather-Guesser College these days, anyway?

That issuing a warning and finding out later that you didn't need to is a damned sight better than not issuing a warning and finding out too late that you should have. 

 
Wolfwalker - I think more to the point is where is the delicate point of "crying wolf" versus "giving warning?"

And it's more a post of breathless media coverage than it is anything else - though the commenters leapt on the politics bandwagon.

Just run through a sample of the results from Googling "Weather Hyperbole."
 
One thing they clearly don't teach is how to write. Perhaps you could pick up a master's and teach.
 
If I do not receive my apology, I will tell Holly how to find all of you. 
 
Oh, send her.  I'll treat her like any other zombie that staggers screeching up the road.
 
I admit that 17 inches of rain would probably challenge the water drainage system of the old Castle, leaving a pretty damp basement....  but mebbe not.  The Pond of Argghhh! would certainly like the influx of really fresh water - but not the silt load that would come with it.
 
Wolfie, check the time of that writing. The breathless prognosticator wrote that purple prose *after* it was downgraded to Cat One.
 
*waving high to Cap'n Bli*

Knowing both your histories, Holly is worse, by far. History dealt Bill Bligh a pretty bum hand -- compounded by the media maligning him all these years.
 
Armorer: I think more to the point is where is the delicate point of "crying wolf" versus "giving warning?"

I don't know.  I wish I did.  I only know that friends of mine have been through hurricanes, even major hurricanes, and it strikes me as really foolish to not take them as a serious threat to life, limb, and property.  Digging a storm bunker in the back yard and filling it with supplies is overreacting, but laying in a couple of days worth of food and water, making sure you have working battery-powered radio and flashlights, fueling up the car -- those all strike me as reasonable and proper preparations to make. 

BillT: The breathless prognosticator wrote that purple prose *after* it was downgraded to Cat One.

I didn't notice that.  Given that, you're right: the copy should have been rewritten to be less panicky.  Irene at Cat 3 and possibly threatening to become Cat 4 deserves such language; Irene as a moderate-and-weakening Cat 1 does not. 

   
 Bill, I doubt he would describe such an eruption. He would run screaming in fear, however.

It does sorta remind me of the fear I used to have when I was 3 years old of the monsters that lived under my bed. I think I beat it by the time I was 5, but he seems to not have quite gotten over his yet.
 
...those all strike me as reasonable and proper preparations to make.

Don't forget to fill the bathtub with water and have a 5-gallon pail handy (for sanitation, not for drinking).

I got one of them thar newfangled hand-crank rechargeable radios a few months back (which I should have done years ago, actually). My neighbor says there isn't a free-range "D" cell battery to be had anywhere in New Jersey or eastern Pennsy...
 
I seem to have lost a comment in moderation...
 
Well, mebbe Bill can free it.  The machine I'm currently on doesn't have the login URL on it...
 
I poked around in pending and spam, and it ain't popped in either of them.
 
Did you get called up for that one as well?

I was the adult supervision at the armory for Gloria-- my sole mission was to dispatch two E-5s to the Monmouth Armory with a deuce-and-a-half full of mattresses for the Emergency Shelter while I baby-sat the phones for thirty hours.

Floyd was more interesting -- I got to dangle off a bridge in Lodi roped to a SWAT cop and snag a couple of kids who got stupid with a boogie-board on the Raritan.

 
I 'member being detailed to downtown Reno about eleventy years ago to sandbag the Truckee river to save the casinos.
Never reached my sandbags. Pffft.
 
Hyperbole in the news media is surprising and shocking how exactly?  Wait, is this article hyperbole?

One of my favourite weathermen (I can't remember his name which shows you what a people person I am) used to say the weather tomorrow was that same as today 2/3 of the time, and the weather forecasters couldn't even read the weather well enough to beat that basic pattern.
 
But we have computers now, Argent.  We can do really spiffy graphics!
 
And we can use colors not found in nature! And we can animate them!
 
 About Hurricane Irene, I live in an area with a “Mandatory Evacuation Order signed by the Gov. of the States of New Jersey. I also happen to live in one of the highest places in the County. I still complied with the evacuation order, though I didn't think it was necessary. At the same time, we had a “New Moon”, which causes higher than normal tides, called “Spring Tides”. It is very easy to second-guess someone in their position, but I have learned to comply. Just to give you an idea where I sat, last night, early this morning, about 4 AM the eye of the storm passed over the house that I was staying, as a “Cat 1” storm. Even though I hated the evacuation, it was the wise thing to do. The strange thing is the storm went up the coast and then went to West and wound up in Philadelphia.We could have been in the same situation as Philadelphia. It was interesting, that they took both nuclear reactors producing electricity off-line.  
 
"THERE'S A TREE IN THE LIVINGROOM!!!" my mom shouted over the phone at my dad. He was at his office 40 miles away. "Call the fire department". "Oh" and she did. They came and winched it out and nailed a tarp to the roof. Mom was very upset they wouldn't stay for dinner or even the big pot of coffee she was brewing.

That  12 inch thick Oak had a good eye...right between the roof beams and right between the ceiling beems in the living room. Hurricane Dona 1959. Now that was a hurricane.
 
Last I heard, it wasn't a hurricane, nor even really much of a tropical storm, by the time it got to N. J.

I am a Florida person, who has lived here off and on since 1955, or so, and know what is and is not a hurricane.  Eff all of you effete northeastern pusillanimous pussified damnedyankees. You silly doodahs did not have a hurricane, you had a clownish artificial panic.
 
 
Fish, Donna just missed us over in Dade County. It was a fun reprieve from school for a little kid. (Moi)  It hit this town dead center. The guy who ran  the one and only hobby shop here was too poor to board up all of his windows, so he just boarded up the ones on the windard side.  When the eye came by, he went out in a hurry, ripped the boards off, and put them up on the other side.
 
Heh. And Jtg channels Mick Dundee: " 'Urrycane? 'At's not a 'urrycane. *This* is a 'urrycane..."