El Nino and La Nina are terms that are often bandied about these days and are used to describe the type of weather pattern that may become established over an undefined timeframe.
A little over 10 years ago, we might have thought that these terms were some sort of South American dance craze!
To the average Joe on the street, does it really matter what the latest weather trend is.Don’t we just want to know how long it’s going to rain for, whether it eventually warm up, if the wind will ever stop or when is the sun going to return to its natural state?
Computer models are constantly updating information about these foreign visitors and seeing which way the upcoming weather cycle will develop or perhaps it will simply become a ‘ neutral ‘ phase.
Without delving into these terms (which have been well documented over the years), isn’t it just simply more weather jargon which is meant to aid our understanding, not hinder it.
Information overload is on the rise with phrases such as global warming, climate change, evapotranspiration figures, doppler radar, uv index and so on. My head hurts in trying to understand the day to day weather and what’s going on, let alone all the terminology that is flying left, right and centre!
I believe the key is to keep it as simple as possible.It’s very easy to ‘wow’ with the best graphics, the latest info which is updated every second, the availabilty of services on your laptop or iphone etc but the question surely is-Is it actually more accurate and is it easy to follow-Am I actually getting what I need to know?(ok that’s more than one question!)
TVOne and TV3 both have quite impressive weather presentations however when alterations are made and supposedly improved, this can lead to more confusion.
Sometimes I come away bamboozled and wonder if I have been watching the latest sci fi movie with all the effects.I don’t actually remember what the weather was in my area and what’s going to happen tomorrow but gee I do remember that Fiji looks warm and Jims new tie certainly stood out.
Audiences surely need time to adjust to change and absorb all the happenings plus they usually just want to know the basics.
Radio and print have also changed over the years and now combined with the internet, weather is being delivered in various forms and hopefully suited to the audience that it’s aimed at.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t change the weather overhead but hopefully if it’s presented well enough and simply enough, it makes it a little more palatable.
Weather Analyst- Richard Green