- the science dealing with the atmosphere and its phenomena, including weather and climate to induce state-wide panic, surges at grocery stores and gas stations, and ridiculously slow driving.
- the dissemination of fear associated with the atmospheric conditions and weather of an area.
[origin: Katie Horner – KCTV5]
related forms: Fear·ol·o·gist
If you have noticed that winter weather socking the Midwest, the local weather forecasters have been in high gear delivering up-to-the-minute weather reports, school/business closings and road conditions.
If you live in the Kansas City area then you have the privilege to tune into CBS affiliate KCTV 5. Chief
meteorologist Fearologist Katie Horner has had a history of outlandish panic-filled broadcasts amidst severe weather.
Don’t believe me? It’s a fact, even written on the KCTV5 website,
“(Katie) persevered through a relentless, live 15-hour severe weather broadcast in March 2006, reporting on at least 12 tornadoes that hit within KCTV5’s coverage area.”
Fifteen hours? I’m all for public safety and awareness, but going live for fifteen hours straight?
From the onset she looks frazzled, rushed in front of a large screen of super-pinpoint-extreme-megawatt–Doppler radar with a rainbow of marshmellowy colors. She’s spewing warnings at counties throughout the metro area. Timers in the upper corner let you know how long you have to live before the severe weather hits your home and if you didn’t get a chance to hear all the warnings, relax. Katie will repeat the same thing at least five times during her “late-breaking” weather broadcast.
See, I think Katie Horner is probably a great person. And she isn’t the only fearologist on TV. But she is by far the leader and it’s the unnecessary dramatics and over-the-top reporting that cause way to much panic and fear and as a result, make the average viewer loss all rational thought.
Following Katie’s snow report, people flood grocery stores to stock up on food in case they get “snowed in”. Unless you live in the middle of a Kansas pasture and the National Guard has to drop bails of hay I think you’ll be okay. Vehicles line gas station pumps so that if they do get snowed in, their cars can sit in snow drifts with a full tank. And lets not forget the over-cautious drivers that make turns at 5 mph in large 4×4 SUV’s when a even a dusting of snow is on the roads. You’re killing the environment with your overpriced, gas-guzzling vehicle. At least drive it like it was intended to…remember the glossy magazine ad, up the mountain side, over small villages, women children. I digress…
Never in my lifetime did I think I would say cite the KC FOX affiliate as doing something positive. But they’re running a promo for their weather team and at the end of it, one of the meteorologists says “Severe weather can be dramatic enough, your weather team shouldn’t be.”
And that is my point. Katie and the rest of the fearologists out there need to get back to the roots of meteorology…the simple regurgitation of the National Weather Service’s forecast, some cool weather clipart, a few colorful maps and a couple canned video animations.
In the end, their forecasts don’t even have to be right. They’ll still be up there, night after night telling us when we need to grab our poncho, boots, visor, goggles, gloves, hat, sunblock, water bottle, generator, fan and get to the basement.