Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #577: A Simple Guide to Giving the Weather

It’s a shame that so few music stations do a good job of giving the weather forecast. An air talent clonking through it like it’s the biggest chore in the world is a drag, but by far, the more irritating form is the person who has to give every single little detail. Let me help you with this…

UNLESS YOU’RE FACING SEVERE WEATHER, the forecast should be short and sweet. What’s the high today, the low tonight, maybe the high tomorrow, and tell me if it’s going to rain (or snow). That’s it.

No “Partly cloudy with a thirty percent chance of showers today, then turning to mostly cloudy tonight and a forty percent chance of more showers or thunderstorms. Tomorrow, again mostly cloudy with a fifty percent chance of showers. High today in the high seventies, then we’ll see an overnight low in the upper 60s. Tomorrow’s high will be around 80. Currently, it’s 79 in Saddlebag, in Turkey Beak City it’s 76, and here at the KRKL studios, it’s 77.”

In case you think I’m joking, what set off this review is that I did actually hear a 111-word forecast recently!

Let’s make it easy. …4 guidelines:

(1) Anything less than 50% is “a chance of rain.” Anything higher is “a good chance of rain.” I don’t care about the amount of cloudiness. (“Cloudy,” “some clouds,” or “clear” is definitive without being analytical.)

(2) “Currently” is an unnecessary word. Of course it’s “currently”. You wouldn’t say “and two days ago, it was 75.”

(3) Pick a number. It’s not “in the high seventies.” It’s “High 78” or “high near 78.” (Then if it doesn’t make it to that temperature, God changed it. But at least you knew what it was supposed to be. Same with the low. Not “low thirties.” Instead, use “low 32” or low near 32.”) This sounds more accurate, and lends credibility. (“About” or “around” just says “I don’t really know.”)

(4) No one cares what the temperature is at your studio (wherever that is), or at the airport. I’m not in your building, and if I’m at the airport, I’m leaving town, and I no longer care what the temperature is.

Hope this helps.


Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip