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Snow column readers pile on local news for overblown weather coverage

I’ve been snowed under with emails since my Sunday column about how local TV meteorologists make many of us afraid to leave our homes if it is snowing outside.

As a rule, the comments sent directly to my email listed at the bottom of this blog often are, shall I say, a little more thoughtful than the ones posted underneath the story on The Buffalo News website.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the tone of all of the emails.

I can’t run all the emails sent to me, which were much more positive than I generally receive.

But I think it is worth reading what a legendary retired weatherman, the owner of a popular store, one of the people behind a famous children’s television show created in Buffalo, and the owner of a local pizzeria had to say about all the scary weather reports.

So here it goes. First up Tony Buttino, creator and co-executive producer of WNED-TV’s “Reading Rainbow.”

Nice weather report!

           I wanted to express a similar opinion to the letters to the editor. However, I knew they wouldn’t do anything about the weather, (credit Mark Twain).

            I like Canadian radio reporters who simply use a Window-meter, like in the old days.

Stay warm. Drive safely.

Tony Buttino

PS: Word has it that some episodes of “Reading Rainbow” will be on Netflix. Good for the new kids on the block.

Next up, one of the owners of that East Aurora treasure, Vidler’s

I very much enjoyed and (unfortunately) appreciated your story in Sunday’s paper about the local news teams’ obsession with snow coverage. It’s a topic my dad, Ed, has been railing about for years – or at least since the Blizzard of ’77 made our weather a national story. It seems from that point our winters went from, well, winter to breathless updates on the nightly news, with ‘lake effect’, ‘snow events’ and now ‘polar vortex’ replacing “it’s windy, snowy and cold outside.” Which it’s supposed to be in WNY from about December through March, right?!

The very same stations that we support with our advertising dollars often hamstring us from about early November to early April with their constant barrage of snow hysterics that many times never happen, or not nearly to the extent they predicted. Yes, our employees and customers safety cannot be dismissed, but as you noted for the most part we know the drill and how to deal with it – nor do we have to be updated 3-4x within a 30 minute newscast about the “breaking” weather. 

I think the bigger and more abnormal weather story would be about our sunny and near 60 degree Saturday we just had. We have lake effect snow and now rain… I’m waiting for a report about our lake effect sun and low humidity in the summer. Could be a long wait!


Don Vidler

Now it’s time for Tom Jolls, the Channel 7 weather legend.

I was so glad to read your Sunday column as I thought I was the only one bothered by these weather alerts.

And these weather warnings are not confined to the winter months.

I have noticed scare words are often used in describing an oncoming thunderstorm, where we are advised ,"these storms may pack a punch". ..days before the actual storm arrives.

Tom Jolls

Now, it is time for some pizza:

My family owns a small pizzeria in Cheektowaga and I am grateful somebody has finally written about the panic some of these news stations create in the forecasts and reports on current and future weather. We're a fairly busy place and do well enough but it would be great if some of the weather reporting from local stations could stop with the ridiculous snow coverage that at times even makes me think twice about leaving home even though I know the roads are clear or very passable. It hurts many of the business owners throughout the city and suburbs during the winter who can use all the business they can get. We're trying to get people to shop and dine in the city as much as possible yet we have these kind of over the top forecasts and stay off the road warnings over nothing. I understand safety is a major concern but there needs to be a line drawn here on this. Anyways thank you! I've thought about this recently myself and am grateful a news reporter got this out there.

Nick Argy

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