John Bolaris: Don’t tease the weather

John Bolaris
Metro columnist John Bolaris.

I do write about many things, as I have quite a few opinions – just in case you haven’t noticed.

But to those of you that know of me or follow me, my number one passion is the world of meteorology.

I live it, I breathe it, I inhale it, I miss it.

I miss being in your living room and telling you the weather news, good or bad, but especially when it turns stormy, as anyone can tell you it’s going to be a happy, sunny day.

The meteorologists who can get you through the storm in a firm and responsible way are the ones I admire.

I can’t stand the so-called “weather tease,” when local stations have seven seconds to shout, “Severe storms heading our way – details coming up!”

You wait 20 to 40 minutes for the full forecast and yes, there is a severe storm – over the Poconos. Not moving your way, except, of course, if you’re in Mount Pocono.

I know local news lives for ratings, and I get it, but I don’t have to like it.

What I have learned in Philly, NYC, and most likely any other city is your local meteorologist needs to be part of the community, to give back to the community and to be trusted by the community when the so-called you-know-what hits the fan.

Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel embodies this, and he does it on a national level.

Yes, Jim will put himself in harm’s way and he will get the word out in a strong and confident way. Jim Cantore has the weather chops and cojones; he is the ultimate weather warrior.

I had the privilege to work with Jim when I was doing a hurricane special for CBS in New York. We broke bread at my home together on the East End of Long Island.

I admire this man for his true dedication and his tireless efforts to keep you ahead of a storm. You know when Jim shows up in your neighborhood, something bad is brewing.

Down the road, it looks like I will be working as “the storm guy” on a much smaller level, but still I will be doing what I was born to do and I’m almost certain our paths will cross again when the next big one threatens the East Coast.

By the way, this first full week of summer will be hot and stormy. The best severe storm threat will be late this week, but isolated severe storms can’t be ruled out over the next 48 hours.


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