Weather on the Air of Broadcast Meteorology

Overview

From low humor to high drama, TV weather reporting has encompassed an enormous range of styles and approaches, triggering chuckles, infuriating the masses, and at times even saving lives. In Weather on the Air, meteorologist and science journalist Robert Henson covers it all—the people, technology, science, and show business that combine to deliver the weather to the public each day.

            
The first comprehensive...

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Overview

From low humor to high drama, TV weather reporting has encompassed an enormous range of styles and approaches, triggering chuckles, infuriating the masses, and at times even saving lives. In Weather on the Air, meteorologist and science journalist Robert Henson covers it all—the people, technology, science, and show business that combine to deliver the weather to the public each day.

            
The first comprehensive history of its kind, Weather on the Air explores the many forces that have shaped weather broadcasts over the years, including the long-term drive to professionalize weathercasting, the complex relations between government and private forecasters, and the effects of climate-change science and the Internet on today’s broadcasts. Dozens of photos and anecdotes accompany Henson’s more than two decades of research to document the evolution of weathercasts, from their primitive beginnings on the radio to the high-gloss, graphics-laden segments we watch on television every morning.

This engaging study will be an invaluable tool for students of broadcast meteorology and mass communication and an entertaining read for anyone fascinated by the public face of weather.

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Editorial Reviews

Weatherwise Magazine - Bob Swanson

“Bob Henson’s Weather on the Air is lovingly written and meticulously researched. . . . More than just a simple timeline detailing the technological innovations that have taken the profession from hand-drawn maps on Plexiglass to today’s touch screen technology, Henson’s book also touches on the philosophical.”
Ray Ban

Weather on the Air captures the full breadth and depth of the engaging—and to many enthusiasts, intoxicating—world of broadcast meteorology. The history, the personalities, the science, the challenges, the beauty, and the warts of weathercasting: It’s all here.”
David Laskin

“Robert Henson covers a wide swath of weather and broadcast history with warmth, engaging humor, boundless curiosity, and a keen eye for the quirky and overlooked. Whether you approach the atmosphere with the utmost seriousness or laugh at the absurdities of the weather business, Weather on the Air is a treasure.”
Edward Maibach
“Supplanting baseball, talking about the weather has become our national pastime. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the evolution of our attraction to, and dependence on, up-to-minute news about the weather.”
Joe Witte

“Henson clearly charts the internal storms as well as the fair skies of a profession that has been surprisingly slow to accept the growing scientific consensus of humankind’s contribution to climate change.”
Eric Klinenberg

“Robert Henson’s rollicking story of how the weather news became a staple of American culture has more surprises than a windy day at Wrigley field. If, like so many of us, you find the weather report oddly compelling and want to know why, this is the book for you.”
Dan Satterfield
“Robert Henson has written the definitive history of on-air weather in America.”
Greg Carbin

“From green screens to greenhouse gases, a thorough a very readable history of broadcast meteorology.”
Weatherwise Magazine

“Bob Henson’s Weather on the Air is lovingly written and meticulously researched. . . . More than just a simple timeline detailing the technological innovations that have taken the profession from hand-drawn maps on Plexiglass to today’s touch screen technology, Henson’s book also touches on the philosophical.”—Weatherwise Magazine

— Bob Swanson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878220981
  • Publisher: American Meteorological Society
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 241
  • Sales rank: 1,286,370
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Henson is a science writer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and a contributing editor to Weatherwise Magazine. His other books include The Rough Guide to Weather and The Rough Guide to Climate Change.  

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xi

Photographs 114

1 "And Now, Your Forecast": A Whirlwind Tour through TV Weather History 1

2 The Big Picture: The When, Where, and Who of Weathercasting 23

3 The Invisible Weather Team: How Public and Private Meteorologists Shape the Weathercast 45

4 But Seriously . . . : Attitudes and Approaches to Conveying the Weather 65

5 Blue Skies and Green Screens: The Technical Side of Weathercasting 85

6 Breaking Through the Glass Map: Diversifying the Ranks of Weathercasters 109

7 Coast to Coast: The Nationwide Approach to Weathercasting 129

8 When Minutes Count: Getting the Word Out during Severe Weather 147

9 Voices of Weather: The Story of Radio Weathercasting 175

10 Cloudy and Warmer: Climate Change and Weathercasting 189

11 The Extended Outlook: Whither the Weathercast? 201

Notes 209

Index 235

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