The biggest grievance about watching the weather reports is that everyone above West Virginia says “Appalachian” so so wrong. The third “a” is not a long vowel sound.
The first time I ever heard it pronounced without a long “a” was when I came to Liberty. I think it’s a hill folk thing. Merriam-Webster, among others, lists both pronunciations as correct. And actually, the pronunciation with a long “a” is listed before the other one. Even the sound clip of how to pronounce it is with the long “a”. So maybe the hill folk portion of Appalachia can be your “Appa-latch-a” and the northern parts can be “Appa-laish-a.” :p