What Is the Benefit to Weather Interruptions?

141002-storm-cloud-2148_80d3ea0f4f6c4b8a021aa91cb51ce550.nbcnews-fp-1200-800As we’ve done on Wednesday night for a while, after game night, a few friends and I sat down to watch the latest episode of Survivor. The beginning of the episode was interrupted by a weather update about a cloud that kind of looked like a tornado, and I anxiously fast forwarded in the hopes it wouldn’t last long.

Thirty minutes later, the update was over. We were left with only the final half hour of the show (which was fine, but not ideal).

Why does any weather interruption need to last 30 minutes? I figure there are two types of people who watch television:

  1. People who are watching live TV. They might care about the weather update because it’s relevant to them in real time. But if they’re watching it live, don’t they only need a quick update to let them know that some weird weather is happening? Why do they need 30 minutes of it? Sure, CBS wants to keep people from changing the channel…so why not just give them what they turned on the TV to watch?
  2. People who are watching recorded TV. For these people, the important weather update isn’t important at all. It’s old news.

So…why do lengthy weather updates exist anymore? Were people in St. Louis who sat down to watch Survivor live tonight happy that CBS spent 30 minutes talking about a weird cloud? Maybe I’m missing something.

4 thoughts on “What Is the Benefit to Weather Interruptions?”

  1. I think most stations’ policy is to give short updates for storms, but if there is a tornado warning they stay on the air until it’s expired. As I was watching once (not last night) the meteorologist apologized for pre-empting whatever show was supposed to be on and said that was their policy. It’s a safety thing and they’d rather have a bunch of people mad at them for missing Survivor, instead of someone not knowing there was a possible tornado headed for them. I personally don’t like long interruptions because either it’s nowhere near me, or it IS near me and then I get anxious.

    • Dawn: Yeah, I definitely appreciate the safety concern. I do wonder if there’s a more effective way of doing it that doesn’t interrupt the show (like a bar at the bottom of the screen), but I see what you’re saying too.


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