Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Is winter coming? That would, of course, be winter weather, seeing as how winter the season has been around for more than two months and has only a few weeks of officialdom remaining until spring takes over.
If you believe the weather pundits, we're going to have a fairly impactful snowfall tonight, starting around 9:00 p.m. EST. The prediction is 3-7 inches. And the long-range radar shows there's definitely something, weatherwise, stalking our way from the northwest…the question is whether it's snow, sleet, or rain—and how much?
This morning's prediction called for 4-8 inches, to start at 1:00 p.m., with sleet before the snow. A few hours before that guesstimate, the postulated snow amount was 6-8 inches, also preceded with rain and sleet. Obviously, those estimates are being ratcheted down. The rain held off all day, though it has now started a light drizzle. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if the end result turned out to be a couple of inches of wet snow that was a sloppy mess, but a decided fizzle as "a major winter snow event," which is what one reporter on the Weather Channel gushed excitedly.
You gotta take the Weather Channel crew with a big grain of salt—especially when it comes to their "Local on the Eights!" forecasts. Checking updates from the National Weather Service proves far more accurate and reliable if you want to know both current and future weather for your area. I understand that for the Weather Channel crew, weather is their thing, and that storm chasing and breathless "stand-up" reporting is their game. They live for "major events. I get that, really. But those people need to chill out, lay off the mega-doses of caffeine. All that bouncing around like a bunch of hyper squirrels is seldom warranted. Too much science as showbiz for me, though it makes for exciting television, which, I suppose, is the point. Creating you own channel costs BIG money, and income comes from sponsorship and sponsorship follows audience numbers and audience numbers result from high-energy, exciting TV…even if you have to stir the pot regardless of whether or not anything's cookin'.
Myladylove says I'm being cynical. She adores the Weather Channel. Watching them enthusiastically track and dramatically detail a rain shower moving in from Indiana can transfix her for an hour. Their reporting of a winter snowstorm heading our way can work her into a state of worry bordering on panic.
Not that this isn't useful. All I have to do is mumble something along the lines of "let's not wait too long to salt the driveway hill," and she's out the door like a shot, flinging Ice Melt everywhere. And while she's relieving herself of all that nervous energy, I log onto the National Weather Service site, see what the weather's really doing…and switch the TV's channels to the latest episode of Duck Dynasty, Swamp People, Wicked Tuna, or Finding Bigfoot. I know good television when I see it!