The tendency to hype weather begins, not in the news media, but in everyday weather talk.

When talking about the weather on the street or over coffee, any little snow becomes, to many of us, a storm, and any sort of actual snowstorm is automatically labeled a blizzard.

When national media (and some local media) do this same thing, it is only to speak the language many people are already speaking. Of course, many people resist the hype, both in casual conversation or in reacting to news media.

The elements of weather all have scientific criteria. To be a blizzard, for example, a snowstorm must have winds around 35 mph and visibility below a quarter mile for at least three hours. The WDAY weather team tries to use the correct scientific terminology, with the thought that consistency makes for better communication.

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