Although some weather segments may resemble a cross between a threeminute video game and a physics lecture, it’s noteworthy how little the basic format of the weathercast—and the newscast around it—has changed in its 60-year-plus history. Stations in large markets may have more technology and expertise at hand than those in rural areas, but whether we’re in Moline or Manhattan, we can turn on the morning or evening newscast with a fairly good sense of what we’ll encounter. As the
Encyclopedia of Television
noted, “the genre of local news in the U.S. has maintained an astounding consistency of format from its earliest days.” Nearly every viewer can recite the standard elements of a local weather segment: current conditions, the local and national maps, tomorrow’s forecast, and the long-range outlook.