3 Weather Story Ideas for Sweeps
We know everybody likes talking about the weather. So, give them something to talk about during the next ratings period. Showcase the expertise of your weather team with a special report on a weather-related topic.
Here are three ideas for news managers and broadcast meteorologists to consider:
Your Uncle Larry is always telling you he knows when it’s going to rain because he can feel it in his bones. There may be some truth to that.
Biometeorology examines the relationship between living things and the weather. Changes in air pressure and humidity can cause joint pain by allowing soft tissue to swell and fluid around joints to expand. Some people also complain of severe headaches.
Doctors don’t typically specialize in biometeorology. So you may have to call around to find one who understands the connection between pain and weather. Talk to a labor and delivery nurse. They’ll tell you that a drop in air pressure during a big storm will produce an increase in baby births.
Some people might think biometeorology is a myth. It’s not. However, there are some prevailing beliefs regarding the weather that are not grounded in reality.
Here are some meteorological myths to get you started:
- Lightning never strikes twice: it does
- Tornadoes never hit major cities: they do
- Masking tape will protect your windows during a hurricane: it won’t
- Moon phases affect the weather: it doesn’t
You could showcase all these myths in one package. Or feature one a day throughout the week.
Every community has people who perform heroic acts every day. For some, like first responders, it’s their job. But even these fine folks often go beyond the call of duty.
Do a series of feel-good stories that highlight some local heroes who responded during the last major weather event in your area. In addition to featuring the work of first responders, try and find ordinary people who have done extraordinary feats for humanity.
READ MORE: THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE NEWSCAST
On-air and online
All of these feature reports are timeless. Meaning, they can play forever on digital platforms. They are also topics that will generate conversations on social media. That may be where you start with these stories. Ask your followers if they experience pain during changes in the weather. Create a quiz exposing weather myths. Open online nominations for weather heroes.
Doing an occasional special report takes time to research and produce. But it shows your viewers a bit of your personality, the depth of your knowledge, and helps build trust. It’s worth the extra effort.
Tim Heller is an AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and Talent Coach. He helps local TV stations connect with their community through essential weather information.