Skip to main content

Stations Brace For 'Polar Vortex'

Stations of course thrive on weather coverage, and outlets in the lines of the arctic chill roaring across the U.S. are bundling up to cover this thing. WISH Indianapolis—it is -11 degrees and snowing there—went live at 4 p.m. Monday, "for the latest on power outages, shelters and how the state and city of Indianapolis are handling the snow and frigid temperatures," the station said.

Tens of thousands in the market are without power. Indiana Governor Pence has issued a state of emergency.

The Block Communications cluster of stations in Lima, Ohio, where it is -9 at presstime, has a report on the challenge of buying a snowblower in the market.

On KXMB in Bismarck, North Dakota, where it is -7, the station offers a lighter story amidst reports of frostbite and school closings and cold-related deaths. It shows what happens when you throw a pot of boiling water into the sub-zero air. (For another fun take on boiling water and frigid air, here's the Weather Channel, shooting water out of a SuperSoaker amidst -41 degree temps.)

At the national level, says, simply, DON'T GO OUT THERE on its home page, and explains just what a polar vortex is. Another story shows cars frozen solid into the ground...though that is up in Canada.

Here in New York, the stations are leading with a transformer fire in Manhattan. The temps are around 41 as the 5 p.m. news begins, but they'll be around the single digits tonight and tomorrow.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.