“Cut-off low, weatherman’s woe” was a catchphrase of Dr. George Fishbeck, a television weatherman at KABC-TV in Los Angeles, California from 1972 to 1990. A cut-off low is a low pressure system which is cut off from the jet stream. This weather system becomes very difficult to predict.
“Cutoff Low, weatherman’s woe!” has been cited in print since at least 1999.
Wikipedia: George Fischbeck
George Fischbeck (born July 1, 1922) was a television weatherman on KOB-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico from the early 1960s to early 1970s. In 1972 he moved to KABC-TV in Los Angeles, California, replacing Alan Sloane, where he became a staple on the station’s Eyewitness News broadcasts. He would retire from KABC-TV in 1990, but returned to television with a brief stint at KCBS-TV from 1994 to 1997. His on-air presentation was honed from a previous career as a school teacher. His unique, sometimes humorous forecasts were unscripted and often turned into an opportunity to educate his viewers on the subject of weather. He started his television career at KNME-TV in Albuquerque as a host of a children’s science program. He graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1955 with an MA. In 1979 he was awarded the Silver Beaver by the Boy Scouts of America for his service to youth. In 2003, he was awarded the LA Area Governors Award for lifetime achievement by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for special and unique contributions to Los Angeles area television. His most recent honor comes from the City of Los Angeles, where City Councilman Tom LaBonge declared April 10 to be Dr. George Day in Los Angeles.
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Local news commercials bug me!
The best one was KTLA (Channel 7/Los Angeles) with Doctor George Fishbeck (now retired) or as a lot of people called him…just Dr. George!...and one of his favorite weather lines was
Cutoff Low, weatherman’s woe!
by Inyo Sun Oct 28 2001 at 3:53:54
In meteorology, a cutoff low is a low pressure system which is cut off from the jet stream. Most storm systems are entrained in the jet stream, and are in fact made up of curves in the jet stream. Since the jet stream is also a boundary between two very different air masses, it provides storms with energy and momentum. However, sometimes a horseshoe-shaped curve in the jet stream becomes so steeply curved that the jet stream will ‘shortcut’ across the curve and leave a pocket of air rotating in a counter-clockwise direction to the south. (this is similar to the effect in which a meandering river cuts off a bend, creating an oxbow lake).
Without the jet stream to push this storm from west to east, its motion becomes erratic and unpredictable.
Because of the erratic movement of these storms, they are almost impossible to predict, thus the expression ‘cutoff low, weatherman’s woe’. Usually, they eventually spin themselves out, or reconnect to the jet stream. But when and how this happens is different with each storm.
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Interior Central California Area Forecast Discussion
Scott Hazen Mueller
i hate to use “cheesy” phrases, however “cutoff low, weatherman’s woe” is right on this evening.
The Rough Guide to Weather
By Robert Henson
London: Rough Guides
In Los Angeles, weathercaster George Fischbeck popularized the phrase “cut-off low, weatherman’s woe”, and it hits the mark nicely.
Typical Autumn Weather in the Valley
Published: 11:07 PM GMT on December 01, 2008
A low that far west usually means dry weather for us, but its path is by no means guaranteed. An old LA TV weatherman from the 1970s, Dr. George Fischbeck, had a great saying for this—Cut-off low, weatherman’s woe, since they are so devilishly hard to predict. Even NWS will not commit themselves one way or the other, preferring to stick with dry weather with seasonal temperatures, but mentioning that things could change as we closer to the end of the week.
“A cut-off low is a weatherman’s woe.” - my pal, the great Dr. George Fischbeck (ABC7 Los Angeles) - the best!! http://twitpic.com/3uppnk
11:52 PM - 29 Jan 2011
Keith’s NE Georgia Weather Blog
“Upper Level Low Causes Weatherman’s Woe”. That means November snow for us…………….
Posted on November 26, 2011 by snoah47
Very interesting late fall weather awaits us. You may recall I’ve mentioned a few times over the last couple years the “upper level low pressure sytem”, or “cutoff low”. This is a low pressure system that gets cut off from the general upper air flow(jetstream) pattern and slowly migrates over a longer period of time that is typical for a low pressure system that is being driven by the general atmospheric flow.
KIRO7 Weather Blog by Meteorologist Sam Argler (Seattle, WA)
Posted: 9:34 a.m. Thursday, July 19, 2012
The cutoff low is the weatherman’s woe
You may have heard of the cutoff low. There is actually a saying that “the cutoff low is the weatherman’s woe.” The woe comes from the fact that these systems can be unpredictable and are often difficult to forecast.
This low pressure system is cutoff (hence the name) from the upper level winds of the jet stream. The west to east winds of the jet stream are often referred to as the storm track because they guide disturbances our way. They push a storm in from the west and eventually off to the east. In the case of the cutoff low, those westerly winds are not in play. A system can stall out with very little movement for several days, often bringing a prolonged cloudy and wet period around a region.
My Life in Weather
By George Fischbeck with Randy Roach
Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press
Your telling the weather story while interjecting your vast knowledge and your kind humor laid a road map for the rest of us. We all felt your enthusiasm—even when that darn cutoff low created a weatherman’s woe! You are an icon ... and our hero.
Dannie and Dallas Raines
KIRO7 Weather Blog by Metereologist Brian Monahan (Seattle, WA)
Posted: 9:07 a.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Cut Off Low - A Weatherman’s Woe
One of the laments of weather forecasting you will here quite frequently is a “cut off low is a weatherman’s woe.” But why are these lows such a source of angst for meteorologists? We’ve had a case study in it the last few days here in western Washington.
Since the weekend, a large swirl of low pressure has been parked over the Pacific, barely nudging eastward. Generally speaking, you think of low pressure and you conjure images of clouds and rain. But, ah, not so fast. The problem with cut off lows is that smaller disturbances rotate around them—these disturbances do trigger areas of rain and even storms (like we saw over the east side on Sunday); in between and away from these disturbances though, the weather can often be quite pleasant.
“A cut-off low is weatherman’s woe” - that cliche is ringing true this afternoon. Showers pushed farther north #cowx pic.twitter.com/ijGnekIvwf
4:51 PM - 13 Mar 2014
The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Rains cause flooding throughout S. La.
DAVID MITCHELL AND MIKE GEGENHEIMER
May 29, 2014
“There’s an old saying: “upper-level low, weatherman’s woe,’” Hill said. These types of weather systems tend to bring a mixed bag of weather, and it can be difficult to predict what is in store for south Louisiana.