If surveys are correct, writes Terry Hazlett in the Washington Observer-Reporter, then most viewers watch local TV news to get the weather.

But it doesn’t do much for the news team’s credibility when they spend so much time blowing minor snowstorms out of proportion, he says.

Scaring viewers is “unnecessary and unprofessional,” Hazlett says.

“If there’s a winter storm watch — not even a warning, but simply a watch — stations have begun going on air earlier in the morning, if only to tell us to ‘drive carefully,'” he says. “And if we do receive a couple inches of snow, reporters are stationed all over surrounding counties so each can dip his glove in the white stuff to guesstimate the number of inches of snow and warn us to stay off the roads.”