We finally got the first snow of the year here in Cedar City. Only once since the town was founded more than 160 years ago has the first snowfall been later [January 8, 1977, in case anyone really wants to know]. This first snowfall wasn’t a dusting, but a respectable 8-10 inches at our house, which usually gets a few inches more than the town because we’re on a hill overlooking the main part of town.

But what amazed me most about this snowfall was the news coverage. On the front page of the local paper [one that has won numerous journalistic awards, I might add] on Wednesday,the morning before the snowfall, was a story predicting that the snow would arrive on Wednesday night, drop six to eight inches, and trail off by mid-day on Thursday. That’s very close to what happened.

HOWEVER, the local detailed forecast in the back section predicted snow flurries and no accumulation, and to top it off, the Thursday paper predicted no snow, except flurries late on Thursday. And we got another two inches of snow Thursday morning, and by mid-afternoon on Thursday, the sky was clear and cold, with no afternoon flurries.

I bring this up because it illustrates to my mind the growing tendency of younger people to compartmentalize their thoughts. No one at the newspaper, which has a comparatively young staff, even thought to compare their lead story to their forecast.

This is not exactly a new problem. I’ve noted for the past year, if not longer, that the forecast for Cedar City that appears in the Salt Lake Tribune, a newspaper published 250 miles away, is consistently far more accurate than the forecast in the Spectrum, which is published 50 miles away and which has a local bureau here.

So… what gives? It could be that the Spectrum subscribes to a cheaper canned forecast service. It could be that the staff doesn’t even read the forecast and considers it just another necessary canned feature that the newspaper has to have.

But to me, it shows that the editors aren’t really reading their entire newspaper… and that those numerous journalistic awards are suspect. Either that… or I really don’t want to read the papers that don’t get awards.

Anyway… it looks like, barring an unforecast heat spell, that we will get a white Christmas, after a long dry, cool, and brown autumn.

1 thought on “Consistency?”

  1. John Prigent says:

    ‘Local’ newspapers often aren’t local anymore. Mine was taken over by a group based in the next county and with an office 15 miles from us, but now only covers our news for disasters, tragedies, and major crimes. It’s ‘local knowledge’ has gone by the board – in the latest issue it publicises a fundraising event by a town charity under the heading of a village several miles away. So I’m not surprised that yours can’t even publish the correct weather forecast!

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