Hurricanes are deadly forces with massive amounts of power, even when that power isn't always on display when the news cameras are rolling. That might have been why The Weather Channel correspondent Mike Seidel was seen struggling to lean into Hurricane Florence's strong winds during one segment, just as two other people were seen in the background having no trouble walking around. That particular clip went viral over the weekend, with some alleging the reporter was playing up the action for the camera, and now the network has spoken up in defense of Seidel and offered an explanation.
It's important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted.
The Weather Channel's statement explained that Mike Seidel's wind-related issues may have been due to the fact that he had been reporting a large chunk of the night before, and therefore was exhausted and might not have been as up to the physical task of battling hurricane-force winds like the two people in the background were. Considering the stress of the situation, staying up all night to report on a hurricane can definitely be more taxing than staying up for a slumber party. As well, The Weather Channel added in its official statement (via The Washington Post) that Mike Seidel was trying to hold his footing on wet grass, implying it's that much harder to do than walking on concrete in that scenario.
There's no questioning Mike Seidel had been burning the midnight oil for The Weather Channel with his coverage. The veteran meteorologist's Twitter account was full of various footage and updates from the storm, which led all the way up to this now infamous segment, and that's not even including the additional work he did for the network beyond that. That said, some on Twitter had already started calling out The Weather Channel's "wet grass" argument, with additional footage from the segment showing that the network's defense stands on some "shaky ground." Who would've thought Hurricane Florence would spark such grassy knoll arguments?
Mike Seidel has not taken to social media to respond to anyone questioning the legitimacy of his lean against the wind. It's understandable, given he's still reporting on Florence and her destructive path, although it's hard to believe the meteorologist has been blind to the criticisms that may have come from any one of his 2.63 million followers. It seems as though Seidel is riding multiple storms out until people move on to the next thing to obsess over, which may take a while, given The Weather Channel's somewhat awkward explanation.
Primetime TV rolls on, regardless of storms, and there are lots of new and returning shows making their premiere for the year in the coming weeks. Keep up with all that's happening by visiting our fall premiere guide.