Does Beryl REALLY warrant a visit from Jim Cantore?

The Weather Channel did a fantastic job overhyping and generally freaking out about Tropical Storm Alberto, including switching their website and TV coverage to “Storm Alert Mode,” previously reserved for category three or higher hurricanes. They’re doing the same about Tropical Storm Beryl, sending veteran storm tracker Jim Cantore to hell and back (or, from Nags Head, NC to Chatham, MA) to cover a 60 MPH tropical storm. Cantore even admitted tonight on Evening Edition that it wasn’t going to be a major problem, aside from more rain on a soaked Northeast and some additional wave action along the coast. Beryl is not even expected to make landfall or even have tropical characteristics by the time it reaches up there. However, as a precautionary measure, the National Hurricane Center has posted tropical storm watches along the Northeast coast…hence, the producers of the Weather Channel sending it into “hurricane mode.”

Another thing — wouldn’t it be a given that a channel called The WEATHER Channel would be a good source of information on hurricanes? Why do they have to keep reinforcing before every local forecast that they’re “The Hurricane Authority?” Are they really that scared of CNN’s “Hurricane Headquarters?”

The Weather Channel built its reputation on solid, sensation-free weather reporting, forecasts, and information for 20 years. It seems in the last few years they’ve decided to pretty much abandon that model to pander to “panic mode” every time someone twirls a tornado tube. As a long-time fan of TWC (read: literally since birth, ask my friends), I’m very, very disappointed, especially this year.

Updates to the planet

I’ve made a significant round of updates to the planet today in light of all the recent discussion about them.

All updates will now live in a planet category here on the blog. This gives me a good place to aggregate all the posts that I’ll make concerning updates to the planet (which will happen from time to time).

You’ll notice that the look has been worked on a bit, and now visually resembles the blog more. More work in that vein is coming, including the addition of the full side menu (once I flesh it out a little more over here).

Finally, I need to resume adding sites (will probably add a few more tonight). The aim will not be just people I know, but blogs of software projects (for example) and others that I find particularly interesting. My vision for the planet has always been something of an uber-LiveJournal friends page, which is how I not only keep up with people but also keep up with interests (such as weather). So, expect more along the lines of that in the planet in the couple days.

If you want to be added, fire off an e-mail or leave a comment here.

J

Helloooooo Beryl!

The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season saw the formation of its second named storm today, Tropical Storm Beryl. The computer models are pretty unanimous in taking it north and then northeastward in about 36 hours or so. However, the National Hurricane Center is playing it safe and has posted a tropical storm watch for the N.C. coast. I’m not seeing it being much of a threat to land, nor getting to be notably powerful either, though surfers will enjoy the waves. :)

Lots going on these days. Continue reading Helloooooo Beryl!