A letter to Jim Cantore
The Weather Channel
Enough already! Storms are a serious subject and we appreciate your public service, but to be blunt, we don’t want you in our town! Whenever you show up, an “ill wind blowing no good” can’t be far behind. You and these hurricanes (or as some folks around here say, hurr-a-kins) are giving us a tropical depression.
I’ll grant that your broadcasts are informative. I’ve learned a ton or perhaps a torrent of meteorological terms. Spaghetti models, Bermuda highs, wind sheers, eye walls, steering factors, feeder bands, wind fields, landfalls, and the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (Cat 1 to 5, or degrees of bad kitty) to name a few. I’m starting to discern the difference between a thunderstorm, a tempest, and a tornado and now know these can be as God-awful as a gale or a gully washer.
Yet may I make a suggestion? You surely have sway with the brass there at TWC. Unless you get your squalls off doing it, it isn’t necessary to stand out in the worst of the storm and report that it’s blowing like crazy. We get it and, from your vantage point, that is all you can do. “You wouldn’t believe what this feels like blowing up my pants legs… Whoa... Back to you in the studio.” Yet you and your climatic cohorts do it over and over. It must be written somewhere in the weather broadcasters’ manual … “In case of hurricane, be sure to have a guy in a poncho stand out in the driving wind, trying to stay vertical, doing a bad imitation of the electric slide, and holding a live microphone in the downpour.”
Further, do you think the severity of storms might, in some way, be related to the names given them? Harvey was horrible; Irma was irate; Maria was mean. I suspect the wizards at the World Meteorological Organization, when they are not playing Words With Friends, are dreaming up menacing monikers for each letter of the alphabet. “Let’s make the letter ‘M’ Ming the Merciless. How about we call ‘W’ the Wicked Witch of the West?”
Perhaps they might consider some more tranquil, softer names. May I suggest these for the 2018 season: Anemic, Bland, Creampuff, Dulcet, Effete, Fizzle, Genteel, Halcyon, Insipid, Jell-O, Kindly, Limp, Meek, Nada, Oasis, Placid, Quell, Refrain, Serene, Tiny, Unruffled, Vapid, Wimp, X-cellent, Yellowbelly, and Zilch. One could also name storms after politicians since both have a tendency to blow a lot of wind, contribute to the mess that follows, and disappear before the cleanup occurs. That should give you bucketsful of names!
But my immediate concern is my Aunt Toogie and my lovely wife, Grace. Toogie has taken on a pattern you will recognize. It began as a mild disturbance. Then as we progressed deeper into the hurricane alphabet, her intensity strengthened and she started to pace, in a counter-clockwise pattern, around the kitchen island. As she picked up more energy, the speed and breadth of her rotation increased to potentially catastrophic levels. All this caused Grace to call for alternating actions: lawn furniture inside, lawn furniture outside; shutters closed, shutters open; fill the tub, empty the tub; buy water and bread, buy more water and bread. This is something neither you nor I want to get in the path of, Jimmy. Since you started it, you need to calm it down!