Weather hype

WE practically have to wear fur parka and mittens these days just to watch weather forecasts in the Eastern United States. It's not the temperature or wind predictions, extreme as they may be, that ossify us: It's the peculiarly gleeful wind chill pronouncement that whistles out of our TV set. Electronic weathermen probably are just trying to let us know it's really cold out there. But it would be enough merely to give the weather without hype, now especially: Temperatures and winds have sent much of the US into a record deep freeze this month. Most of us already know that low temperatures combined with high winds feel cold.

But the weather industry's insistence on whirling temperature and wind together into a cryogenic quick-freeze somehow makes us feel we're sitting in front of TV on a block of fudge-ripple.

Tell us the temperature. Weigh in with the winds.

But spare us the wind chill. It's like the oboe: an ill wind nobody blows good. ----30{et

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