Thursday, March 7, 2013

Well the weather outside is (not) frightful, even if the forecast was

It’s often said that to play cornerback in the NFL, it helps to have a short memory.

I can go them one better. How about being a weather forecaster?

It’s amazing the difference 24 hours makes.

Yesterday it was all-weather all the time. We were on the storm watch. TV stations turned over almost all their coverage to the impending storm. Snow totals were being pushed upward. Reporters were dispatched far and wide looking for flakes. A few were spotted out in Kennett Square. A chilly rain was expected to give way to snow and howling winds. We heard forecasts of 3-5 inches or maybe even 4-8. It was all about location, we were assured.

They were right. If you were in Virginia. They got hammered with more than a foot of snow.

Here? Uh, not quite as much. As in zero. Nada. Zilch.

Yes, the wind did pick up, with some gusts near 50 mph. There were a couple of minor power outages. A surge down at the shore left some streets under water.

But as for snow, we waited. And waited. When the snow failed to arrive at mid-day, we were assured it was coming, that the rain would change over to snow later in the day. Never happened.

I’m not sure why. And I don’t really care. I’m not sure why this bothers me as much as it does, aside from the fact that I hate winter and the non-stop hype over the possibility of snow has all the charm of fingernails on the chalkboard to me.

But it’s more than that.

This might sound harsh, but I think the way the weather gets reported around here borders on being a public disservice.

Cheyney University canceled classes yesterday. Anyone care to explain why?

Imagine you own a local bar or restaurant. How do you think you’d react if you flipped on your TV and all day what you heard is, “All I can say is that if you don’t have to go out, don’t!” That’s your business going down the toilet.

Hey, look on the bright side.

They’re saying it’s going to be in the 50s with some sunshine this weekend. Daylight savings time returns Saturday night. Maybe winter is over. But if we have a chance of snow sometime in the next few weeks, I don’t expect much to change.

The local stations have made their decision. I’m not sure I blame them. Weather, in particular in this region winter weather, equals ratings.

Even when there’s no weather to report.

In this instance, Mother Nature took a swing and a miss. She’s done that a lot this winter. So have the local forecasters.

Funny, I haven’t heard anyone this morning saying they blew the forecast. Right now I’m looking at some overhead pictures of some of the flooding at the Jersey shore. They’re are being delivered by the slick new helicopter the station is promoting heavily.

Here’s an idea on how to promote the next forecast: Stick your head out the window. That’s what I usually do. Yesterday I was dubious about the snow forecast. I wish someone at one of the TV stations had been as well. I realize that’s not going to happen. At least I’m not going to hold my breath.

If you gauged the local TV news yestereday, there really was no news. There was only weather.

All they needed was a little snow. We’re still waiting.

 

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