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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Earl was a washout

According to weather forecasts broadcast late Thursday, Earl was supposed to still be a Category 2 hurricane (sustained winds of 96-110 mph) after nightfall Friday and hit Cape Cod directly.

According to reality, Earl was downgraded to a tropical storm, with winds of 70 mph, at 11 p.m. Friday and was centered so far east of Cape Cod that the famed southeastern arm of Massachusetts got winds no stronger than 35 mph.

But The Weather Channel, having devoted so much money and manpower to covering Earl, continued to insist late Friday that the storm was a very big — and very dangerous — deal. News flash, folks: It wasn't. It was a summer rainstorm. Nothing more.

I said it in my last post, and I'll say it again: Why are TV weather forecasters so incapable of saying "We got it wrong"?

But TV doesn't bear all of the blame. At least one newspaper — the ridiculous New York Post — should be ashamed of itself, too. The Earl story that appeared in Friday's Post focused on the storm's threat to eastern Long Island and began with the following sentence: "Hamptonites thought they would be preparing for the end of the summer — instead, they are preparing for the end of the world." Good Lord!

For the record, Earl missed Long Island altogether.



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