Television: Fair-Weather Friends

Next to putting the cat out and kissing the wife goodnight, the most common late-evening ritual for many Americans is tuning in the TV weather forecast. Just about every TV station in the nation has its own weatherman nowadays, but the trouble with a great number of them is that they are cloudy and mostly windy.

In the beginning, weathermen talked so much about "occluded fronts" and "thermal inversions" that viewers wondered if they shouldn't start building an ark in the backyard. Then came the era of fair-weather girls. Preoccupied with their own frontal systems,...