Since the National Hurricane Center and the computer models started projecting storm positions 5 to 7 days into the future, minor tropical disturbances that used to be ignored by most of our local population are now distracting us from paying attention to our local and regional weather. Formerly, such long-range forecasts were used only by military and Emergency Planning/Management agencies.

I've always been concerned with the "crying wolf" syndrome. I believe there should be a difference between being "concerned" and being "worried". During the hurricane season everyone should be concerned enough to take preliminary actions, such as having batteries, bottled water and food that doesn't need refrigeration. If we are concerned enough to inspect and trim large trees at least every 3 to 5 years, we can eliminate the worry we feel when strong thunderstorm winds threaten to topple a large tree or drop a large limb on a person, house or car.

I will now be going back to mainly commenting on weather that will affect, or has affected, our lives. I will no longer waste time studying a storm 2,000 miles away since nearly half of them do not strike the U.S. My heart goes out to those who live in other countries and hope they can protect themselves from the storms that head their way. Sadly, I have reached the age where I have to depend on others to carry me through a hurricane if it comes our way.

Thankfully, modern technology, NOAA and the National Hurricane Center along with the media, including Channel 4, can take over much of the job I have done over the past 52 years.



  1. 1 Sheldon Swartz August 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Mr. Winterling: For all you have contributed to untold hundreds of thousands of people over the years – and not just viewers – God forbid a major storm would affect you. But if it did,I;m sure not only your WJXT family, but hundreds of us plain ordinary people, would be lined up at your door offering whatever we could to assist in any way possible.

    • 2 geotv4 August 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Sheldon: I appreciate the concern that you and many of my viewers would have for me in the event of a major storm. Personally, I’ve reached the stage of my life where many of my contemporaries have already passed away and my attention is now being focused more on being close to my family and maintaining my health than on distant storms that are not likely to affect our local area.

      • 3 Sheldon Swartz August 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm

        Your attention is perfectly focused. You have contributed greatly to both the field of meteorology, and I only hope you realize how much happiness you have brought to tens of thousands of us, and that happiness literally extends lives. Taking care of yourself, as you are, will enable you to experience a good quality of life, and to bring even more smiles to others, primarily to your family, which will, in return, come back to you, like an unseen blessing. You have a wonderful family, have worked and served others for the vast majority of your life, and so you deserve lots of quality time.

        I trust WJXT is still taking care of you to a reasonable extent. But please don’t resign yourself to wandering off into the sunset just yet – for your own good and because you still have your own good spirit to offer. Granted, your contemporaries are all but gone now. I am some years younger than you, but I also see mine leaving this planet as well and that’s depressing.

        Selfishly, I’d like to see you present just one more weather forecast on WJXT – the ratings would skyrocket as well 🙂 But realistically, I know you need to continue your recovery at your own pace. You have given more than anyone could have required of you, and owe nobody any apologizes for doing whatever pleases you today. I minister too many seniors who, like myself, have more sand at the bottom of the egg timer than at the top. But we’ll make it better for all of us by in some way staying in touch with those we care about and who care for us. I know my quality of life has been improved by what i try to do for others. In any case.

        Hopefully, your online presence will remain stress-free and satisfying, while being a comfort to those of us who long for at least some of the best things to remain the same. And those “things”include the people we love and care for.

        I hope I speak for a lot of others, and want you to enjoy the sunset of your life – but may the sun take its good time in setting completely. I want the same for my own mother, who is 93!

  2. 4 Mark Collins August 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    You are so right George. Everyone tries to be an expert and the media rushes to be first and hype every little wave. Unfortunately this will be the new normal because even unrealistic threats translates into higher TV ratings. Thanks for the quality of your analysis.

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