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On The Forecast: A High Probability You'll See This Dress

In a photo montage, dozens of meteorologists — all women — stand before digitally projected maps of their towns, forecasting the weather as usual. But there's one thing a little strange about the image: Every single one of them is wearing the same dress.

The montage, first posted on meteorologist Jennifer Myers' Facebook page, has since gone viral on the Internet. The image is so striking, it's not hard to see why it's been shared — but why are all these women of weather wearing the same dress in the first place?

To get to the bottom of it, NPR's Rachel Martin talked with April Warnecke, meteorologist and forecaster for Good Morning Arizona on 3TV in Phoenix.

Interview Highlights

On why, exactly, that same dress was worn by so many meteorologists

Well, I am part of a secret Facebook group of women — female broadcast meteorologists. We talk a bit about clothing, because it can be a challenge in our profession to find the right things to wear.

At one point, someone had said, "Hey, has anybody ever had luck finding work clothes on Amazon.com?" And someone came across the dress — the now-infamous dress — and said, "Hey, this looks like it could be a good bet, and it's only $22.99."

And it seemed like it was fitting everybody and everybody was loving it, and so more and more of us started buying it until, I believe, about maybe 50 or 60 of us in this group all owned this dress. And the next thing we knew it went viral.

On the benefits of the dress

It is a solid color, it comes in about five or six different bright colors with a black panel on the side and a zipper sown in on each hip. And it has a V on the front, but I think one of the reasons it works for all of us is it's not too revealing. It's flattering and it's fitting, but it doesn't show any cleavage, it doesn't show too much leg and it has arm-length sleeves on it.

On the rules of fashion for female broadcast meteorologists

There are so many rules. It's a little bit crazy. So, the most obvious one is you can't wear green. But some of the other ones that obviously people complain about — and by people, I mean viewers mostly, but also management (they have rules, too) — you're not supposed to wear prints, and one of the reasons for that is you're standing in front of usually a busy forecast map, with numbers or patterns or colors. So you want to wear a solid color.

On the complaints about her wardrobe, and whether she responds

I generally do not. That would take me a lot of time because, unfortunately, I get complaints quite a bit, despite the fact that, you know, your effort is put more into the forecast. ...

Some days it's good. Some days it's "where did you buy that?" or "do you mind if I ask how much you paid for that, where could I find that?" But some days it's "that's not flattering," "I suggest that you donate that dress." When I was pregnant, it was "maybe you should look at maternity clothes." And I was wearing maternity clothes, but certain people weren't happy with them.

It's a variety. But you certainly have to develop a thick skin — that's for sure.

On the challenges of her wardrobe rotation

I try to go maybe once a month to maybe once every two months. ...

And that's the thing: None of us want to be spending all of our paycheck on clothing, but it's a part of the job. I think that's one of the misperceptions that people have — they think that we have some kind of wardrobe department at our station or that our station is picking out our outfits. ... But here on a local level, they're not [supplying our clothing] at all.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR Staff