Have a Heart

Over the years, viewers have told me to have sex with myself and some have even implied that I’ve been intimate with my mother.

But those love notes are few and far between compared with some of the messages sent to the weathermen today.  These go way beyond the old, “Hey, who else gets paid to be wrong?” routine.  Rude is one thing; vicious is another.

I know almost all of the weather people at the Connecticut stations.  From Brad, Bob, Ryan and Darren…to Geoff and his crew…Bruce and his guys…and Joe and Garrett…they’re all good people who take their science seriously.

When a forecast doesn’t pan out as they expect, no one feels worse than they do.  And I guarantee you that today they feel very bad.  And very frustrated.

Even if your day got screwed up when it didn’t necessarily have to (mine did too), I just thought you should  know.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in People, TV Stuff, Weather and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Have a Heart

  1. I can’t get too worked up about this. Let’s be fair. They are right far more often than not.

  2. Jeff says:

    Weather forecasting is an inexact science. We’re far better at it than we used to be, but mother nature is . . . well . . . somewhat capricious. Today’s storm is really a combination of two low pressure systems, one which came across the midsection of the country, the other which slid down from the great lakes. The rate of snowfall, when it began, and the ultimate amount was a matter of the timing of these two systems as well as when and where the merged.

    All our friendly forecasters can do is look at the computer models (based on years of historical data) and do their best to predict the timings, cloud and surface temperatures, how much moisture will be avalilable, etc.

    Would anybody have rather they predicted a fizzle, and had it come out the other way leaving people stranded in their cars — or worse?

    As it looks right now we’ll probably get within an inch or two of the original forecast . . . although the main accumulation will be later than first thought.

    April, come she will.

    Jeff

  3. Sharon Wallace says:

    When I first went on Facebook, other than some of the people I worked with and my family, the weathermen had become my friends. I have them from a few differnt stations. I even tried to get one from NY, but he never replied to being my friend. Oh well, one of the news anchors from that station did. I felt like doing ‘nah, nah, nah, nah’ but that would be childish.

    I have learned in my ‘old age’ to just wait and see what the weather is going to be like. I’m from the time when we used to have to put chains on the tires and there would be ice on the trees and the roads weren’t plowed, there really wasn’t a thing called a ‘snow blower’ unless it was somebody shoveling and breathing hard and a lot of times it was me.

    There was even one time in which during the holidays, my folks had gotten me one of the ‘electric’ shovels, and my brother had gotten a waffle maker – my brother is 8 years older than me. If the weather man said it was going to snow, I had to make sure I was up early to ‘plow’ the walk way, the driveway as well as the walk way in front of our business.

    Kids wait to hear what the weatherman will hear to see if they will have school or not tomorrow during the winter time and get upset if there isn’t any snow. Their parents though are very happy when there isn’t any.

    I have cousins who live in MD now, she works in DC they have a son who is in the first grade, she was saying the they are saying that school will be open in July. She hasn’t been to work since last week. She had heard they were going to get a ‘little’ snow.

    Weathermen go by what the computers say. The thing is somebody has to input information into the computer for somebody to read it. So I say lets ‘blame’ the input person. There is data everywhere, if it were all correct, we would know when there there would be an earthquake, when it would happen and how bad, then we would have been able to warn places like what happened in Haiti. We would have known when the Tsamini would be and when. Weather people are just that,,, ‘people’. Like us, they will make mistakes, they are human. Yes, we put them up on a high pedestal, because we want them be right, because we ‘need’ them to be right.

    We need to believe in them. I guess I look up to them due to what they try do as well. Just as I look up to you news anchors. We want each of you to give us the right news, the right information, not to scare us, but just to tell us what is going on .

    Yes, I have a heart for all the weathermen and women. I am in awe of them as I am with people like you
    Gerry.

  4. Kevin says:

    Gerry — Right on, as usual. All of this rage is amazing. I can think of only two possible reasons for it: 1) The stations’ endless hyping of their forecasting abilities may have raised expectations so high that no one could ever reach them; and 2) There’s an awful lot of anger at institutions in general these days, which makes forecasters — as the faces of one of them, the news media — easy targets.

    Relax everybody: You’re not in Haiti.

  5. KC says:

    People need to calm down.
    It’s a prediction which depends upon ever-changing data.

    Best to be safe than sorry.
    Jeff said it best when he said would you rather predicted a fizzle and people were stranded?

    Give them a break, guys….

  6. Gerry says:

    Kevin and KC…thank you both for your comments. Much appreciated.

  7. The other Kevin says:

    Funniest comment I read today, just had to share it, it’s from the WTNH page.

    “Jim Beam [Visitor]
    Not the first time. I remember when Geoff predicted a volcano would take out most of Cheshire and Hamden and make driving on Route 10 very treacherous. I put foil over my windows and sent the kids to school with cooking mitts. And nothing. My family is still disappointed. I had to explain to little Carl that the closest thing he would see to lava that year was the scar on my left leg from my ill-fated trip to Hawaii during my college spring break.

    And now this, Mr. Fox. Little Carl and I spent all last night whittling new handles for our father and son snow shovels. We went to Whole Foods and bought sea salt for the front walk. Deb planned a Kardashian family snow sculpture on the front lawn and we spent all night installing the lights. What did we get? We didn’t get enough snow to make half of Kim’s backside.

    COME ON, Mr. Fox. Please try to be more accurate with your predictions of volcanoes and blizzards or prepare to come to my house and explain to my family why we should Nont take your portrait from over the fireplace. “

  8. Darren Sweeney says:

    Thanks, Gerry. Well said my friend.

    A tough day today indeed, but seeing the kindness from a few reader responses far outweighs the emails received during the storm.

    We do feel horrible when we over predict…but we also can’t “under predict” when the data points to the possibility of this or that happening. I’m not only referring to a winter snowstorm, but also a summer thunderstorm, etc. Over predicting snow amounts means too much caution may be taken, under predicting puts lives at risk. On my watch, I’d rather see people take too much caution and be prepared rather than the latter.

    Since weather is always in motion, I say ‘onto the next storm’.
    Thanks to Gerry for the post…thanks to those who took the time to type a response, it helps make a tough day easier.

    Best,
    Darren
    PS- only 36 days until spring as of this posting 🙂

  9. Phil G says:

    I guess I can go both ways with this… I went to college with both Brad Field and Bruce Dupriest (funny how they both ended up in Hartford…) so I understand the difficulties of their job…so although weather forecasting is an inexact science, one ought to bound their forecasts with some understanding of just that. If you take the time to watch NECN out of Boston, they have a less hyped-up show and they were dropping their snow totals much quicker than the broadcast stations. If you ever get to watch TV news outside the USA, it is so much calmer, laid-back compared to here. This type of ‘TV news for ratings game’ that goes on here is I’m sure influencing these weather guys to make weather sound more exciting than it needs to be. A lot of businesses lost money because of this dud of a storm yesterday- so there is real economic impact especially when people don’t get paid when they don’t work. So let’s not forget that segment of our population that is struggling to make ends meet–this can be a real hurt to them… And there is the added risk of crying ‘wolf’ too often and if people don’t listen when the big one does come, the consequences could be catastrophic.
    These TV station producers need to let up on the weather forecasters so they don’t have to hype it up so much and maybe we wouldn’t have to have these debates….

  10. Linda says:

    Hi Gerry

    I agree with you 100%!

    And – I would much rather that the weather folks put me on alert for bad weather so I can be prepared. I would MUCH rather discover that the bad weather wasn’t as bad as expected, than to be out on the roads – possibly with my children – during horrific weather!

    I commend the weather guys for their daily forecasts, their sense of humor and their smiles.

    Tell them to keep up the good work – and that I, for one, appreciate them!!!

    Thanks,
    Linda

  11. Ray McCarthy says:

    Storms are absurdly overhyped on all 3 local stations. This is New England, it snows, we survive. Channel 30, at leaseast at 11, never said why the forecast was off. Also the snow amounts from “weather observers” did not include any of the suburbs in the Hartford area. (Glas, So. Windsor, Wethers, Newington) which leads me to believe the towns used primarily were those with the highest snowfall totals.
    The closing, weather alert messages beneath the screens all evening long are a new, unnecessary, and extremely annoying addition.

  12. Gerry's Mentor says:

    With all due respect to the forecasters, it isn’t so much that the prediction didn’t pan out, that can be accepted. To me it is more a response to four days of breathless hype about how big the storm is going to be. If you want us to buy into that, you have to expect the reation when the hype is hot, or in this case, cold air.

  13. Not surprised says:

    There’s no need for people to be insulting and irrational when they’re disappointed. But it’s also worth saying: if local news stations want to fan the flames of drama every night in order to hold our attention, they shouldn’t complain when that drama comes home to roost. Get people riled up and these things happen.

    Try treating us like thinking adults who have experienced New England weather for our entire lives… we can handle being told there’s a storm coming without all the heavy breathing.

  14. Pingback: It Isn’t An Easy Job… « The Laurel

  15. Janet A says:

    When I was a little kid I was afraid of thunderstorms, and it was TV weathermen (only men back then!) who helped me get over my fears by explaining why thunderstorms occurred. I’ve been a bit of a weather geek ever since.

    Certainly it’s not the fault of the weather forecasters that the computer models were in agreement about the storm’s track this time – or that the storm outsmarted the computers!

    Maybe part of this is that weather forecasts are so much a part of our daily lives that some people take those who do them for granted.

    So, let me add my thanks to these guys and gals – and to you, Gerry, for this post.

  16. Paul says:

    Gerry,
    You are out of touch with the mainstream public.
    I understand you want to stay in good with your fellow workers but you are completely out of touch. These guys should all feel guilty in cashing their checks next week because of their ineptness in predicting the storm that wasn’t.
    For you to sympathize with them makes you as much of a horse’s ass as they are. Why don’t you try walking amongst the people before you become a total hopeless bore.

    • Gerry says:

      Oh good! One of the brainless people I was writing about checked in! And this jerk is nice compared with some of the others.

      • Gerry says:

        Paul, my apologies. I wrote the above response after coming in from clearing the sidewalks.

        My manservant has the day off. And I was a little edgy because I had to drive myself home last night. The chauffeur is on vacation.

        Again, so sorry. Now I will go walk amongst the people. As soon as I find my waterproof Ferragamos.

      • Paul says:

        Gerry,

        First, your business did not lose thousands of dollars like mine and others did as a result of the bungled forecast by your amateurish weather forecasters.

        Second, your tasteless, smart aleck response simply confirms my assertion that you are out of touch with the general public.

  17. Joan says:

    My mother-in-law passed away earlier this week and I was trying to get out on a flight to Denver for the memorial service, which is going to take place tomorrow. On Monday I heard that there was going to be a big snowstorm on Wed., so I decided to leave this morning, but because of the predictions of 10-14 inches of snow my flight was cancelled yesterday morning at 9:00 a.m. (before even a flake of snow had fallen) and now I tried to get a flight out later today or tomorrow, but can’t. I think I have a right to be a little bit annoyed!

    • Jeff says:

      Joan –

      My condolences for your loss.

      Having a close friend who is an airline captain I can assure you that the flight was most likely cancelled because of conditions at the airport where the scheduled equipment was coming from. Airlines do not make cancellation decisions based on local TV weather forecasts, but on FAA flight-service-station weather data, and actual airport conditions.

      If the plane scheduled to take you to Denver was coming to Bradley from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dulles, or another airport actually experiencing severe weather issues this would be the reason for the flight being cancelled. Planes coming to Bradley from non-impacted airports were arriving, and if your plane had come in (from wherever it originated) your flight would not have been canceled.

      I hope you can make it out to Denver and be with your family soon.

      Jeff

    • Gerry says:

      Joan, my condolences. And I think you do, too.

    • Stephanie says:

      Joan, very sorry for your loss, but Jeff is right about the cancelled flights. Other parts of the country got hit before CT was supposed to get hit and it effected those flights, which effected CT flights.

  18. Jeff says:

    Gerry –

    What bothers me is the lack of civility. Perhaps it’s my old-fashioned parents who are to blame – but I would never (in ten million years) dream of using the kind of invectives I see thrown about . . . not only in the utterly rude comments to the forecasters we are discussing . . . but in blogs, elsewhere on-line, and in society in general.

    I don’t know what my dad, were he still alive, would make of the way we treat each other today . . . but I thank him for the way he raised me.

    One can offer constructive criticism without getting mean and personal. It would certainly be fair to ask “why were you guys so far off in predicting this?”, or “do the TV stations really need to hype storms like this so heavily when there is a good chance ‘snow-mageddon’ will turn out to be ‘a dustin’?” (To borrow a line from that increasingly annoying MacDonald’s commercial.) But the shear nastiness of some of the comments I saw were entirely inappropriate, and to what end? If ridiculing others makes you feel good, you have my sympathy, and may I strongly suggest you seek professional help.

    I’m a telecommunications engineer, not a meteorologist. While as a boater I have an interest in weather and try to understand it, I’m not the professional that Bob, Darren, and the rest of their colleagues are. My job is easy. Forecasting storms in this part of the country where so many different weather systems converge is tough business.

    I’d rather have a friendly conversation and learn from those who know more than I do – with perhaps have an opportunity to offer a helpful suggestion – than try to prove my superiority, and in the process showing how low the human spirit can sink.

    We can all do better.

    Thank’s dad!

  19. Cat says:

    Gosh Gerry,

    Sometimes your the bird,
    Sometimes the statue, 😦

  20. Dr. Steve says:

    Hi Gerry,

    You may remember me from many years ago at Channel 3, when I was working in the weather lab with Hilton. As a long-time broadcast radio meteorologist, and university professor, I often wonder why people think that we are infallible. After all, if I could accurately predict the future the way most people think I’m supposed to, I’d be making a fortune in the stock market, not in the weather market. It just doesn’t work that way.

    Another pet peeve…why does the meteorological community allow itself to be ridiculed the way it does? Our credibility suffers, not because we miss a forecast here and there, but because we stand by while the worst of us make fun of ourselves in ways that basically tell the public that we are not worthy of their trust and respect. I honestly don’t know how, as a profession, we can fix that. Any thoughts?

    Dr. Steve

    • Gerry says:

      Nice to hear from you! I appreciate your checking in and sharing your thoughts.
      I too have a thought, and here it is: I would do anything BUT be a television weather person.

  21. stratos bonos says:

    OMG… First of all, Paul… what’s wrong with you. Sure it’s frustrating to loose business, but come on… have you never made a mistake at your job? If not than may I hire you to work for me. I am always looking for perfect people to deliver flawless results day in and day out, of course if you do make an error…. I trust I can count on you not cashing your paycheck right? And FYI for everyone, I happened to be up at my companies corporate office in Framingham on Tuesday and Wednesday and the weatherman at wbz,wcvb,and whdh, and wfxt all had the same predictions as our beloved CT weatherman. Paul… get a grip.
    to all the weatherman past and present; thank you for doing your best to try and keep us all safe. Your intent is greatly appreciated.

    • Paul says:

      Did I ever make a mistake on my job? Not one that costs people thousands of dollars. If I did, do you think I would still be working there?
      You, too are like Brooks and simply out of touch with reality. Don’t you realize how much money was lost by the total incompetency of all the amateur weather forecasting that was done. Not to mention the lost wages of many people who simply can’t afford to do so.
      You are as insensitive and heartless as Brooks is.

      However, I can forgive you knowing that you didn’t get past a fifth grade education. This I can easily tell by the misspelled words an poor grammar displayed in your posting. Here’s a tip. The rock candy in the urinal is not for you.

  22. stratos bonos says:

    misspelled words an poor grammar … you mean like this line from your posting … Phil what you have isn’t rock candy… it’s your meds.. take a pill 🙂

  23. Christopher says:

    First off, wow Paul easy i understand your anger, but really poo happenes, i love NBC all the weather stations around here said the same general snow amounts….yes i was disappointed i love new england weather to the fullest snow included, but i do see the weather men’s intention, back in 2007 i ws stuck on i-84 in farmington for 9 hours!!!!!! i would rather be at home with no snow then stuck in the car for that long….I understand were your comming from money is tough to come by these days and i hope everything works out for you for sure. As for the local media i do think it’s a bit over done but i have studied weather for as longs as i can remember….i started to go to college for it and fell on hard times with money, but still i buy the latest books and am a weather spotter for the NWS, it’s VERY complicated verrrrryyyyy, there job is hard enough figuring out the tempature let alone were the heavy snow line will fall in a ocean storm!!!!! I’ll give the weathermen a get outta the dog house for free card this time ha ha!!

  24. Lori says:

    If we spent half of this energy on a topic that was really important…..What a Wonderful World it Would Be!

    Gerry, I think it was wonderful that you came to the defense of the weather forecasters. I can’t believe the inappropriate, rude and obnoxious comments from readers. Reality check???? Look no further Paul. I hope our paths never meet when I am…. “walking amongst the people.”

  25. The war in Afghanistan, Iran with nukes, the economy in shambles, and people are really concerned that we can not accurately predict the weather?

    I’m going back to bed.

  26. Gerry says:

    I really didn’t see all this coming. On Wednesday, I saw our weather guys look as if they were going to climb to the roof and jump. And I just wanted you to know how badly they felt about a busted forecast that altered lives for a day.

    Since I started this blog, no post has gotten more hits or more comments. That’s how much we’re affected by the weather. Physically, mentally, and otherwise.

    To all of you who were first-time commenters, thank you for your contributions. I hope you’ll be back with the regulars to discuss less controversial topics like religion, politics, and sex with barnyard animals.

    And that includes you, Paul. Sorry you got screwed. Whether you believe it or not, I have many friends in weather-sensitive businesses, and I’m always mindful of them when we’re in storm coverage.

    Have a good weekend.

    • Paul says:

      My first post said you didn’t get it. Your last point vividly reinforces my statement.
      Demonstrating more concern for your fellow weather guys as opposed to concern for those many citizens of Connecticut who experienced severe anguish and heartache over the forecasters ineptitude easily leads one to recognize my point that you are way out of touch.

      You apologize to me for getting “screwed” by the bungled weather guys forecast but choose to ignore the plight of the masses.

      I’m guessing your pay check was not affected by the events of the weather on Wednesday. that much is apparent.

      Go grab a beer with your “friends” in the weather-sensitive business. Maybe you can come up with some more lame one liners about “sex with barnyard animals”.
      Pitiful.

      • Gerry says:

        Paul, I deleted your responses to two other comments. I’ll leave this one up because it’s directed at me. It’s also your last response on this blog.

        Get help.

  27. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    Say what you will, but at least the local weatherman doesn’t expect us to make a multi-trillion dollar bet based on his highly speculative computer models.

    Can you spell IPCC?

    • Stephanie says:

      Li’L Em-Kel –
      Sorry, but that comment lost me.

      • Gerry says:

        Yeah, me too. But I was too tired to ask when he posted it.

      • Li'l Em-Kel says:

        The weatherman makes a prediction about tomorrow’s weather and gets it wrong. No big deal.

        The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is no more reliable than the weatherman, makes a prediction about the next century’s weather AND asks us to spend trillions to prevent it. Very big deal.

        Sorry for the lack of clarity.

      • Gerry says:

        Thank you. The tank was empty when you posted that.

  28. Lady Mau says:

    A little late jumping in here but seriously? Have you never heard ‘this is New England, wait a minute and the weather will change’?

    If meteorologists could control the weather we wouldn’t have any problems but they can’t. They do their best and sometimes mother nature just likes to wet on their wheaties and throw them a curve. They said it would snow, it did, just not as much as originally thought.

    Regardless of the weather I report to work. I’ve gone in to work in hurricanes, blizzards, floods, thunderstorms that were severe and threatened tornadoes, and even a few ice storms. My company operated as it always does and we all reported to work.

    “Severe anguish and heartache” is reserved for much more than an error in snowfall amounts.

  29. Rick D says:

    People, Sorry I read the comments so late. Very strong opinions. How about this. Eliminate the weather section of the broadcast. Never liked the drawn out hard news interviews of peoples’ opinions of the snow at a gas station, or what they thought of the road conditions. Just space fillers. When there is so much more to cover. You want a weather forcast? Stick your head out the window and look. You want an update? Stick your head out the window two hours later. Nuff said…minus the dumb opinions of the snowfall.

  30. pete says:

    art wouldn’t have gotten it wrong *wink*

  31. stratos bonos says:

    I miss Art, where is he???? I don’t think anything would rattle him

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