I’ve been subjected to paying closer attention to the weather the last few days. We had a Nor’Easter blow through Sunday and Monday leaving flooding and general havoc in its wake. As a visual person I have always been attracted to many variations of weather maps you see on TV and the internet. I posted just a few samples for a visual, but admittably, these samples don’t fully represent the full range of graphics, map design and color palettes out there.

My question is, are there too many variations?

Storm forecasts that impact and affect everything from safety issues, travel concerns and general preparedness seem to be very important to our modern, civilized lives. Without weather forecasts you wouldn’t know that a hail storm is schedule for your weekend bar-b-cue, or the snow is going to cancel your flight, or you better get that sump pump you’ve been putting off.

Should the National Weather Service, or some other weather entity, work with designers to set some sort of standardized graphical language in place to avoid misinterpretation by us, the audience? It’s highly critical information and should be presented in the clearest way possible. Should I, as the viewer, be required to translate each channel’s visual language for myself?

Should neon green always represent rain? Isn’t blue a more recognizable color for water? Is that white supposed to be snow or just a cloudy day? Is the blank map brown? Gray? Green?

I’m not trying to suggest that each network doesn’t put a lot of thought into their weather maps, but maybe if they worked together they could communicate to their viewers a bit clearer than they already do.

Am I being too picky? You can tell me. Go ahead.


Update: My friend Dave’s interview with Mel Stottlemyre (that I blogged about here) has been posted at NYBaseballTalk.com. Go check it out!