Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ready, set...panic!

I had a post planned for today about saturdated fat, but I'll save that for Monday so I can complain instead about the weather forcast.

All day yesterday we in the northeast were treated to the usual winter weather catastrophe casts - the "monster snow storm" was heading up from the south [where indeed it has packed a winter weather whallop] and we needed to buckle down, salt up and prepare for something Stephen King could write a terrifying best seller about.

It hasn't happened yet.

I'm still waiting for a flake to hit the ground. Now, I'm not disappointed, mind you, though I did cancel some plans I had for the day in anticipation of having to spend annoying hours cleaning off my car and hauling shovels full of snow from one end of my driveway to the other. I will admit the satellite photos of the storm looked ominous, and with a big patch of white crawling across the US in our direction, I suppose I can't really blame the weather services for believing the worst - after all they do thrive on it.

What bothers me is how, in a region where heavy winter storms are the norm, we're treated like we must plan for a national disaster. I get that in the southern areas blizzards are uncommon and people who are not used to the bitter cold and treacherous driving conditions will be at a loss as to how to deal with it, but up here where I live, we've had the two-foot snow storms before. You know what? Usually withing 24-48 hours after a storm, everything is pretty much back to normal. You may have a day where you can't get the store, but you're not trapped for a week. Nevertheless the media works on providing public hysteria, so people are racing home from work, clogging the food stores looking for the all importat bread, eggs, milk and coffee [the french toast disaster preparedness kit], along with bottled water, salt for the driveway and a new shovel because apparently they never had one before.

Bad weather is always treated like a surprise and I don't get why. If you live in the northeast, and it's any time between November and March, you'd better expect a snow day now and then.

I'll grant that the prediction of weather may not be an exact science, but the spectacular failures seem to happen more than the successes. I'm wondering, do the forecasters have to overestimate the dangers of a storm to cover their butts or is it just so the retail outlets will get a revenue boost right before a day when most people won't be out shopping?


  1. I've just been cackling evilly because my sister in south jersey got close to two feet...hehehehe!

  2. I wonder if in the future people will start moving north to escape the snow.

  3. "Winter weather catastrophe casts - the "monster snow storm" "

    Don't you mean the Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon?? Appearently, if we can believe the weather predictions, we are in for 14+ inches starting Tuesday night/Wednesday.

  4. I don't understand what makes this prediction more believable than the last one - except the law of averages. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, so once in a while the weather men have to be correct because the odds are in their favor?