Category Archives: Weather

Down By the Old Internet TV Stream


Today marks the official opening of a new feature here on, the Television page. This resource is presented as a true public service for those that want to quickly find local television station websites and Twitter feeds during breaking news events. This is most especially for my main interest in this area, following severe weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

The main portion of the Television page is a full list of TV stations organized by state and city. While there are no guarantees that any station will be streaming, these are the most likely as they are mostly major network affiliates and/or appear to have their own news department.

Continue reading Down By the Old Internet TV Stream

Ain’t No Change in the Weather, Part 3

It ain’t over ’til it’s over.Yogi Berra, July 1973

Truer words were never spoken especially when applied to the battle between The Weather Channel and DirecTV. It was only just last week when it appeared DirecTV had put the final nail in the coffin of never carrying The Weather Channel again and had even announced its “engagement” to WeatherNation TV. Then, out of nowhere, the whole thing turned around. The Weather Channel will return to DirecTV’s lineup on April 9th.

Perhaps even more surprising in all of this is the extremely conciliatory tone The Weather Channel used in its announcement of its comeback to DirecTV. They not only apologized for letting the dispute become public but have even agreed to cut their “reality” programming in half during prime viewing hours. Taking blame and making big changes are things almost unheard of when such disputes are resolved between corporations regardless of the type of business.

Continue reading Ain’t No Change in the Weather, Part 3

Ain’t No Change in the Weather, Part 2

As an amateur weather geek with an overall interest in media, I continued to be exposed to the ongoing online battle between The Weather Channel and DirecTV. Since my last post on this subject, DirecTV did indeed drop The Weather Channel in favor of what has turned out to be (at least for now) a highly insufficient replacement, WeatherNation TV. The battle was finally joined as DirecTV began releasing its own public relations blitz not long after I last wrote about this subject. They criticized The Weather Channel for having too much “reality” programming and other non-weather-related shows and that they were worth much less than the current asking price so they certainly were not going to pay the extra penny-per-subscriber The Weather Channel was requesting.

While the amount of rhetoric that came from The Weather Channel increased, it was toned down from the original “panic mode” that certainly turned some people off (for which star meteorologist Jim Cantore publicly apologized in what seemed to me to be a genuinely regretful statement). However, The Weather Channel continued to advocate that it is indeed in its own way a public service despite being a for-profit enterprise.

The unusual thing about this battle — if it even really was one in DirecTV’s eyes — is that, unlike most such disputes, both sides have now mostly withdrawn from the field. In my opinion, this was DirecTV’s plan from the very start and that they fully intended to drop The Weather Channel no matter what unless the price was basically nothing. I feel that guess is justified based upon a press release they issued last weekContinue reading Ain’t No Change in the Weather, Part 2

Ain’t No Change In the Weather

Today’s subject involves the Internet, media providers, and weather. In other words, there was no way I could avoid talking about it. ;-)

After having been out of it for a while due to a couple of minor but extremely irritating illnesses, I learned yesterday morning that the satellite television service provider DirecTV is planning to drop The Weather Channel on Monday, January 13th. Of course, this type of thing is now a regular occurrence here in the United States where a channel (or, group of channels) believes it deserves more money for its programming and the service provider doesn’t want to cut into its current profits or raise rates. Very often, these situations are resolved at the last moment or after only a day or two of interruption. Frankly, it could all be over by the time most people read this.

However, there are a few things in this particular dispute that are quite unusual. I believe this makes these companies’ actions worth noting even though this might all be resolved quickly. Continue reading Ain’t No Change In the Weather

My Readers Can Complain, But I Can’t

It has been a quite miserable couple of moths for yours truly.  Making it all worse was that I have had plenty of things to blog about with full inspiration but just have not had the time or energy.

That being said, I look back on the last post I made before my latest extended break from blogging and sit in stunned amazement at what happened on that general subject from then until now.  I was fairly certain that another Super Outbreak would not happen again in my lifetime and would have bet everything I own that, barring a major tornado spawning right next to something like a major sporting event, I would never see a day when more than 50 people died in one round of severe storms.  Even the esteemed Dr. Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel (TWC) cannot hide his somewhat disbelief that the hundreds of people that have perished in tornadoes over the past two months could happen in this era of Doppler radar, instant communications, on-the-spot storm chasers, and the magnificent forecasts that he and many other government and local meteorologists provide.

While certainly a “perfect storm” where multiple major tornadoes just happened to line right up with populated areas, the continuing spread of cities and towns gives more area for tornadoes to hit.  It’s not a matter of the dire predictions of a scare-tactic television show like It Could Happen Tomorrow.  As we have seen, a major tornado — or, even a mere EF-2, for that matter — does not have to hit the exact center of downtown to cause damage and death so catastrophic that it warrants long-term, national news coverage. Continue reading My Readers Can Complain, But I Can’t

The Super Outbreak of Yesterday, The Super Breakdown of Today


Super Outbreak Tornadoes of April 3-4, 1974
As the US government funding only covered its own country, the 149th tornado of the Super Outbreak that hit Windsor, Ontario Canada was omitted.

Today marks the anniversary of one of the most amazing but, also, most frightening and deadly natural events in North American history — the Super Outbreak of April 3-4, 1974.  In the span of less than 24 hours, a record-breaking 148 tornadoes struck the eastern portion of the United States and the often neglected 149th overall touched down in Windsor, Ontario and was one of the worst twisters to ever hit Canada.  This event also holds another stunning record that has never been approached since — six tornadoes that hit a rating of F5 on the old Fujita scale. Continue reading The Super Outbreak of Yesterday, The Super Breakdown of Today

Weather Report Suite

For those that have been around the World Wide Web as long as I have, there have certainly been a lot of changes.  Trends have come and gone and those sites that have not kept up with the times seem ancient-looking even though the “real” time that has passed is barely a blip in history.

While it has been nice to see many things improve design-wise on the Internet from the days when almost everything was nothing but text and hyperlinks, some things have been downright horrible.  This ranges from the overuse (or, any use) of Flash to those that believe it’s really a good idea to make their navigation links off-white on a white background because it looks cool to some silly hipster that thinks he is god’s gift to Web design.  Sometimes, it makes one wish for something more standard even if it ends up cluttered or clunky looking.

It is becoming more and more difficult to find a “live” website that uses some sort of older design.  About the only ones I can recall off the top of my head that are of any consequence are the Astronomy Picture of the Day site that probably hasn’t been redesigned since 1995 and some other sub-sites and pages deep within that might be even older.

Even most personal websites have changed greatly since they began to take off around 1996 when the Web really started going commercial.  Most have either turned into blogs with fairly basic designs (just like this site) or have taken advantage of professionally-designed albeit occasionally repetitive templates.

All of these things flooded back to me and came together in my mind when I made one of my regular visits to a long-running and somewhat historic website that, after being about the same since I first discovered it in 1998, finally got itself a new and very modern-looking design.  Adding more to my recollections of the Internet’s relatively brief history was that this website might be better remembered by many for its appearances on other websites, especially all of those plethora of personal home pages that cropped up through the late 1990’s on free hosts like GeoCities, Tripod, Angelfire, FortuneCity, TheGlobe, and so many more.

That is because anybody that bothered to surf anywhere on the Internet outside of Yahoo between at least 1998 and…oh, let’s say 2004 to be generous…has seen this little gizmo or its smaller version probably more times than they could ever count.

Click for Fontana, California Forecast

Continue reading Weather Report Suite

My Name is Earl

Hurricane Earl
Hurricane Earl

Thanks to a thin but still strong enough cold front approaching from the west, Hurricane Earl should maintain its current predicted track and not make a direct hit on North Carolina.  However, Earl is enough of a beast that he will still cause great concern for the Outer Banks.

During hurricanes that threaten the United States, I prefer to follow local coverage if it is available.  Even if it has to come via a low quality online stream, local coverage is usually superior because it normally comes without commercial interruptions and, at the very least, the reporters are more familiar with the area and know how to correctly pronounce all of the place names.

Continue reading My Name is Earl