After having published all of its forecasts IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for more than a century, the National Weather Service will finally switch to normal sentence style next month, the agency announced Monday.
The NWS' distinctive style — IN WHICH FORECASTS RUN ON FOR PAGES AT A TIME IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS — is a remnant of the days of teleprinters, which didn't have lowercase letters.
For decades, local meteorologists and news outlets that bring you the weather started by deciphering something that looks like this — Monday's forecast for New York City:
The agency has been trying since the 1990s to modernize its typography, but "it took the next 20 years or so for users of Weather Service products to phase out the last of the old equipment that would only recognize teletype," the agency said Monday.
Any government change like this requires a 30-day notice period for customers to prepare, so it won't be until May 11 that the NWS — as it wrote itself in its announcement — "WILL STOP YELLING AT YOU."
"People are accustomed to reading forecasts in uppercase letters, and seeing mixed-case use might seem strange at first," said Art Thomas of the agency's Digital and Graphical Support Branch.
"It seemed strange to me until I got used to it over the course of testing the new system, but now it seems so normal."