The National Weather Service announced Monday it’s taking it down a notch, updating its house style, and will no longer issue its weather forecasts—good, bad, or drizzle—in all caps. The agency has been sending out its forecasts with caps lock on for more than 150 years, since the advent of the telegraph; twenty years ago it tried—but failed—to phase out the practice as people moved online where all caps came to resemble a siren.
The reason for the change is because as norms of communication changed, as you may have guessed, it was, like, FREAKING EVERYONE OUT, man. It was also, presumably, getting on people’s nerves. Fun fact: the National Weather Service was the first organization to speak millennial. (GUYS, ″5 TO ″7 OF SNOWFALL EXPECTED TONIGHT. LOL. STAY INDOORS EXCEPT FOR EMERGENCY TRAVEL!!!) While that may not be true, here are actual true facts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the transition:
New forecast software is allowing the agency to break out of the days when weather reports were sent by “the wire” over teleprinters, which were basically typewriters hooked up to telephone lines. Teleprinters only allowed the use of upper case letters, and while the hardware and software used for weather forecasting has advanced over the last century, this holdover was carried into modern times since some customers still used the old equipment… The switch will happen on May 11, after the required 30-day notification period to give customers adequate time to prepare for the change.
Anti-capitalization technology is harder to come by than one would think, apparently.
The change goes into effect on May 11. From then on, all caps will be reserved for actual weather emergencies warranting all caps status. So, as of next month, expect totally case appropriate weather updates. Like: TSUNAMI! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! And: Scattered showers or sprinkles expected. nbd.