the calendar is telling me that it\’s the first day of spring; even so, the weather terrorists have already predicted 4-6 inches of snow for tonight and tomorrow. and, falling into their trap, i\’m already anxious about it. and i hate that.
i\’m not sure if it\’s the same in other areas, but minnesotans are very concerned about the weather. well, hold that; the local news networks *assume* minnesotans are very concerned about the weather. many mornings i find myself treadmilling with the 6 a.m. broadcasts of various local networks (c\’mon– Sportscenter\’s college basketball rundowns are not an option) and see several segments devoted to the day\’s forecast. these segments are smoothly surrounded by pieces on death and violence in the metro area, but that\’s an article for another time.
regardless, the local weather yahoos take a page from the george w. bush terror alert playbook and make every potential storm seem like– literally– the end of the world. (to be fair, the scare tactics show up in print as well.) in fact, we don\’t have storms anymore. we have \”weather events.\” predictions of slick patches, black ice, bad road conditions, and messy commutes accompany any threat of flurries, and– more often than not– the actual storm is nothing compared to what was predicted, if it happens as all. (my favorite backtrack came from paul douglas who, last month, said that his snow prediction actually came true; however, the flakes melted immediately after they left the clouds.)
why do they do this? fear attracts eyeballs. if the goof predicts 4-6 inches of snow, more people will tune into the newscasts to see if they are going to deal with shoveling the next day, working from home to stay off the roads, or go to the grocery store to load up on bread and milk. (i\’ve never understood that last one; even if it snows, it\’s not like it\’ll be days before you can leave the house again…) so, pump up the scare tactics, and you\’ll get more people watching the newscast and– more importantly– the commercials.
so i do my best to ignore them; to not take their typically incorrect predictions to heart and fret about my commute tomorrow morning. to not let the terrorists win. but i\’m guessing it won\’t work. again.