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National Weather Service Displays Rare – but Hilarious – Sense of Humor

10 Nov 2014, 10:20 am

The National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for issuing watches and warnings and keeping a 24-7 eye on the weather world, along with issuing some of the most precise weather forecasts on the planet. With all of that on its respective plate, there usually isn’t much time for kidding around for the hard-working folks at the NWS’ 122 nationwide offices, who tremendously help media outlets such as WeatherNation get you accurate forecasts and important meteorological information.

Every 12 hours, each NWS office produces an area forecast discussion, a technical, specific overview of the full forecast for a certain region. Due to the technicality and importance of the subject matter, they’re dense and stiff, essentially serving as a forecaster’s detailed method of explaining why he or she forecasted a certain way and what they think about the confidence of the forecast, amongst other things.

But every so often, the NWS spills out a surprising sense of humor, usually delighting off-guard readers expecting the usual techy read. And that’s precisely what happened on Saturday afternoon, when the NWS’ office in Amarillo, Texas poked fun at the hype-happy media in its discussion regarding the impending cold blast set to strike much of the U.S. Here’s how one forecaster in Amarillo started Saturday’s forecast discussion:

“Uber frigid terrifying polar express storm vortex snowpocalypse still looks on track for next week. All kidding aside…some of the hype is worth buying into.”

National Weather Service 1, national media 0.

While rare, it’s far from the first time the NWS has unleashed a sense of humor in its text discussions. Earlier this year, the NWS office in Juneau, Alaska likened the process of picking between computer weather models to speed dating:

“Picking a model of choice for the day is a little like speed-dating. Too little time/information to make up the mind leading to regrets at the end of the date/shift. The American NAM is modern, detail-oriented, prolific, willing if a little impetuous and incredibly reactionary. The American GFS – the model next door – quite old fashioned, an open book, baby on the eyes of a if a little staid at times. Always talking about the future while white-washing the present. The Canadian sometimes a little pro-European sometimes a little pro-American…many times hard to read, but often has a sunnier outlook that the others. Too sunny sometimes. And that European one…quite intelligent, trend-setting, and alluring – only appearing twice a day – makes me want more. And today I wanted more again so I made my selection, but sometimes I look back and wonder what could have been.”

Good luck using those lines while actually speed dating. Finally, from the archives of best recent forecast discussions comes this gem from the NWS office in Lubbock, Texas, which did a full forecast discussion last Christmas Eve in a rhyme-happy, season-appropriate fashion:

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.23.46 PM

Stay funny, NWS, and happy weather-nerding. Have a great day!

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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