Friday, December 23, 2022

Weather terminology is getting more extreme

I know the weather is getting more extreme everywhere as a result of climate change, but it does seem like our weather forecasts are getting more and more dramatic each year. And that's not all due to the actual weather.

These days, weather forecasts are littered with terminology like "bomb cyclone", "polar vortex", "atmospheric river", "heat dome", "thundersnow", "sudden stratospheric warming", and more. I'm sure we didn't use to have these things, but I think that's more to do with a recent trend for fancy terms than with a change in the climate (although that is happening too). It is the meteorology profession trying to make itself sound a little more sexy (or perhaps trying to distance itself from its latest failed prediction), ably abetted by the popular press.

In the same way, we always used have full moons, every month in fact. But now we have a "blue harvest super moon", a "blood moon", etc. The moon hasn't changed, but our press reporting of it has.

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