If weather forecasters were held to a Three Strikes and You're Out law, they'd be
wearing orange jumpsuits and dragging tin cups across prison bars. Thank goodness
they got this one right.
We received more than a foot of snow and I'm breathing a sigh of relief for the
weather forecasters. It's not been a good season for predicting snow.
It's a tough business. No matter where you live, it's always a hard area
to predict. The plains are hard to predict because of the mountains, the
mountains are hard to predict because of the oceans, the middle is hard
to predict because of the north and the north is hard to predict because
of the south.
As a result, our forecasters have been following pink and blue clouds on the weather
map for weeks, predicting snow that never arrived. One forecaster looked so forlorn
standing outside under a clear sky that I thought about taking a little bag of
artificial snow left over from Christmas and tossing it on him, just to give him
some encouragement. A drive-by flaking.
The weather people have spent the bulk of the winter standing outside with their
plastic rulers and no snow to thrust them into in order to show us that it is a
terrifying one-inch deep.
They've been waiting at truck stops hoping to talk to truckers with horror stories
to tell, but the truckers haven't had time to talk, because the roads have been
clear and they've been making good time and good money.
They've been lurking by the city's garages housing snow plows waiting to do those
one-on-one interviews to let us know snow plows are working around the clock, but
the plows have been idle.
Last week we were watching television on mute and saw a female reporter peering out
from under a hat, scarf and coat collar pulled high, waving something around in
front of the camera.
"What is that? I asked the husband.
"It's a snow brush and scraper," he said. I knew that, but sometimes I just like to engage him in conversation to keep the relationship lively.
"But there's not a snowflake in the sky," I said. "What's she doing?"
"She's demonstrating how to use it on a windshield should we actually get some snow."
According to the reporter, you use the brush to brush off the snow and the scraper
to scrape off the ice.
Who says television isn't educational?
Even print media has been trying get a piece of the winter storm action. Our local
paper ran a full page story on how to stay safe on ice. Tip No. 2 was "stay inside."
They even had a picture of a woman who had actually - get ready for this -- fallen
down. Quote: "I went from vertical to horizontal in no time."
What a relief when snow started blanketing the ground at a rate of two inches per
hour. The weather forecasters have been vindicated and will live to see a spring
riddled with thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail the size of grapefruit.
At last, reporters can descend on the snowplows and truck stops and interview
drivers who have slid off the road. They can thrust rulers into snow banks and
advise television viewers on the appropriate ways to panic.
Once again, all is well in our winter weatherland.