Weather conditions cause poor television reception Brian Steward, president and general manager of Yankton Cable TV, reports that, from time to time, cable television customers may experience interference with local broadcast stations (KELO, KTTW, KTIV, KDLT, KSFY, KMEG and KCAU). The interference is usually at its worst during the late summer months when there is high humidity coupled with high temperatures. This poor reception is caused by an effect known as "ducting."
The term "ducting" comes from the fact that alternating layers of hot and cold air actually create horizontal ducts which reflect electronic signals in unintentional directions which in turn causes broadcast television signals to follow the curvature of the earth. Normally, broadcast signals travel in straight lines.
"Ducting" affects local broadcast reception on cable systems as well as roof-top antennas. In addition, later in the year, frost can also wreak havoc with the reception of broadcast channels. Whether we like it or not, Mother Nature still has a tremendous influence in our electronic age.