Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The "No Rain" Complaint

I haven't received a negative email in a few weeks, so I guess I'm due one. This email was sent to my boss yesterday and he passed it on to me.
Thats it. My husband and I have had enough of your team portraying RAIN as this ugly, God-forbidden thing that shouldn't even be in our universe. Do these people ever go outside? Can't they see that ground is so dry and those beautiful spring plants they love so much haven't had water in over a month (not any to speak of anyway)? Whenever Barbie reports that the weekend is gonna be great because there's no rain, they all cheer. Is it because the hair they plan to donate might get wet and then its no longer good? Last I knew that wasn't the case. So what's the deal with resist the rain, pray it don't rain? We heard that Barbie's father is a farmer. This can't be the case; not the way she acts. If he is, why do we have to be the ones to tell her that without rain, no crops? She needs to go back to her roots and learn this time.
--Sincerely, Sherry and Wynn Johnson, Owners of Wynn Plantation (a farm)
When I was a kid, my dad and I were watching the news and the weatherman commented, "We've got a big golf tournament going on this weekend, so we don't need any rain. We are hoping for dry weather." My father was livid. It was a particularly dry summer and our crops were dying. He looked over to me and said, "When you make it on TV, please don't make comments like that. Those people may not want rain, but we're not gonna make it if we don't get rain in the next week. Have more compassion on people who's lives depend on the weather." I promised and I haven't forgotten. My parents' livelihood is dependant on rain or the lack of it.

We have been blessed with beautiful, sunny weather here lately and I have brought that out on numerous occassions. I've mentioned the pleasant temperatures, wonderful weekends, and comfortable nights. I have NEVER hooray'ed the fact that we haven't had significant rain. Just last week I started showing graphics which depicted our 2 inch plus deficit. However, I will rejoice over the nice entry to spring that we've experienced.

It seems as if my fellow meteorologists have talked about the lack of rain being a positive thing, but for some reason, the Johnsons point to me in their email. I know one man's feast is another man's famine, especially in the farming industry. After all, my daddy taught me better than that.


Tracy Duncan said...

Sherry Johnson's comments may be a little misguided or unnecessarily harsh towards you, Ms. Bassett, however she makes a pretty good point regarding the tone and manner in which the weather should be annnounced. What I mean is, it's a matter of perspective whether or not the weather is good or bad. Surely, weather forecasters are under pressure from the masses to report sunny weather as preferrable since that's what most people would like. But any type of weather is good, in the proper proportions. Too much sun brings a drought, too much rain brings a flood, sunny skies can be glorious, and stormy, thunderous, lightning-filled skies are also awesome and wonderful. When a certain slant is put on any type of weather, someone will get their feelings about it aroused. I love a beautiful, sunny day just as much as a windy, stormy one... but for different reasons. And all weather is needed to nourish life on Earth. We just want different types at different times, and that's where the debate begins. Reporting weather should be about facts, not so much about opinions. But opinions are part of our humanness. Oh, well, guess we grown-ups just have to sift the fact from the opinions then, even when it comes to professionals like yourself, Barbie. But that's why God gave us all brains.

April said...

I went outside today. I saw it was cloudy. Now, true we haven't had rain and the grass in both my backyard and front yard is dying however, I like the pleasant temps. My grandfather owned a farm years ago so, I know very much how sun can hurt and help crops. It's true that we are close to a droute but on the real, can a Meteorologist help that? My friend was complaining to me just today about the fact that we haven't had rain in nearly two weeks. Her exact words to me were, "I wish it would rain. Maybe if those Meteorologists would get off their butt, we can get some rain." I replied with, "Meteorologists don't make rain. God does." My response was short and simple. But people do often have the misconception that Meteorologists make rain. In most ways, it cracks me up.

As for Sherry Johnson's comment about Meteorologists acting pleasant when the rain doesn't come, that's not true. Barbie, I watched your forecast last night at the 6PM report. You made sure to emphasize the fact that we are almost 2 inches shy of rain where we should be. I don't know where she got that you were jumping for joy that we are 2 inches shy of the rain. I didn't see a party going on in the WLBT studio. I understand the frustration of no rain but don't complain to the Meteorologist about being happy. Sunny skies are happy. If you want rain, pray for rain. I know I have been.

Freddie's Blog & Visions said...

Meteorologist's go to college to get a degree to report/predict the weather, not control it. When I watch your forecasts, I just take it as it is given. If it rains, ir rains. If it snow, is just snows! Whatever it may be, I don't see why people get thir pants in a "wad" over the forecasts. I know the meteorologists are not the ones holding rain back from us. If anyone has blame, take it up with God. He is the universal meteorologist and he CONTROLS the weather, not Barbie Bassett or anyone!! I sometimes wonder if meteorology is the right thing for my future but I know it is; just look past the ignorance of some people.

Good job, Barbie, and the entire WLBT Weather Team!
Freddie Harrison