We’ve got a tropical storm over in the Gulf of Mexico. Debby as a tropical system isn’t all that impressive but she _IS_ a tropical system. She’s got some of the usual attributes and at least one that is unusual. The unusual bit is that she has stalled out in the Gulf, with the consequence that we’re getting drenched here in the peninsula. We’ve been getting soaked by this system for several days now, even before it was an official system. The rain is needed but tiresome at this point.
Among the more usual aspects are those you would associate with a tropical system (wind, rain, etc.) and weather porn from the local news. Debby is a big, slow, wet, sloppy kiss from the tropics and the local news folks are aroused. They show their ardor by devoting as much coverage as possible to this storm. Back in March it was clear how hard up the newsies were getting as they devoted inordinate amounts of coverage to any little local storm that popped up. They really REALLY needed to get some, so Debby is a prayer answered.
Weather porn is the local news caster’s dream. Indeed, even some national news types love it too. Dan Rather made his bones covering a hurricane, and Geraldo doesn’t usually miss an opportunity to stand out in the wind & rain and look like a bigger fool than usual. Weather porn is big and dramatic, and even when death is involved it avoids the nastiness of talking about psycho-killers, child molesters, the deranged and the political. And once they get their fix of Act of God Drama they can go back to the regular stuff with a happy little glean in their eyes. So in the next few months when you see a newscaster reporting some grotesque of a story political or criminal (not mutually exclusive) with a twinkle in their eye, you’ll know that some locale just got the stuffing kicked out of it by weather in the previous weeks.