Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ah yes, the weather panic is back

Oh how I love the annual weather panic. A now retired veteran photographer at the Oakland Press and I used to mock the total obsession with weather by the media.

It's been relatively quiet here in Michigan this winter, but "a huge weather event" is on its way. The prediction is for 2-4 inches of snow over the next two days. Wow, how will we survive. If I still had a dog I might euthanize it so it wouldn't have to endure the misery of a "4-inch" snow.

Good grief, how stupid is all this? I love it when they predict these weather disasters and then nothing happens. At 5 a.m. you have some poor reporter they dragged out of bed at 3 a.m. standing on a street corner with a flake or two of snow falling around their heads and literally a dusting of snow on the ground.

"Well, Fred, (insert first name of your favorite anchor), looks like we've dodge a bullet today." Yeah, what we've dodged is your stupid, inane descriptions of what we should do.

And just in case any of you Michiganders have never heard this advice before:

"Make sure you dress warmly and in layers and make sure your car is stocked with blankets, fresh water, a cell phone, shovel and virtually every item available in your garage just in case you get stranded on the I-75 freeway where you might not get help for 20-30 minutes."

If it weren't so stupid, it would be funnier.


Anonymous said...

Having given up on local print media and its electronic offerings, I've watched more local television news in the past nine months than I did in the previous nine years. For whatever reason, one evening in mid-December I found myself watching the 6 p.m. news of the perennial ratings doormat of the Flint/Saginaw market. The guy reading the weather looked to be about 21.

"GET READY, FOLKS (eyes wide open, mouth agape). This is gonna be BAD. This is one of those storms that people will be talking about for YEARS (arms now flailing, sweat beginning to bead on forehead)."


My kids -- born and raised here, now in middle school -- are looking at each other, first puzzled, then laughing hysterically. My wife asks if we're now living in Kentucky. I'm wondering if the talking head needs a paper lunch sack to keep from hyperventilating.

And, on top of all the hyperbole, the guy was wrong. We got four inches of snow overnight. A few schools called off classes that day; many did not. At 11 a.m., I drove to the mall.

At least The Journal didn't have to make the decision on whether or not to publish. The four inches arrived on a Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I drove from Brighton to East Lansing yesterday morning and I get all the way to town with no problem. I am 2 blocks from my building and the guy on the radio says, "I-96 westbound is nothing but a sheet of ice from Brighton all the way to Lansing."

I wish I had that station's number because I would have called and chewed him out. Not one spec of ice. Never took the cruise off. It was just ridiculous scare-tactics. I don't know how we became such a safety-obsessed culture.

But I'm sure there were drivers going 25 mph on the highway b/c of what he said and it made me mad. These people cause more accidents b/c normal people are flying by them and don't realize how slow they're going. I hate that.

Anonymous said...

Slow drivers can cause accidents in bad weather, but fast ones are more responsible, IMO. (Just look at the vehicles you pass who have lost control for excessive speed).

While I agree with Jim and others that weather is overhyped, trying to drive even with just a little bit of snow before the salt trucks is no joke.

People drive 25 mph on the highway when they're worried they might lose control, not because some guy on the TV says roads are bad. I've had enough fish-tailing to know the difference.

In snowy and icy conditions, everyone should slow down and be more respective of other drivers. Life is too precious not to.

Anonymous said...

Stay home if you're too scared to drive like a normal person. 25 on the highway is not normal, and very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I guess you never heard of the basic speed law. You drive a speed safe for the conditions. If conditions mean you go 25 on the highway because of ice and snow so you don't wipe out, you go 25. That's why people get tickets for losing control and ending up in the median and/or ditch.

Maybe my point is better this way: Normal people don't go 70 or even 50 if the roads are bad.

pam said...

exactly why I plan to be a weather reporter in my next career. Only job I could be wrong most of the time and still pick up a paycheck every week.

Now if I can land that job in SanDiego life will be a dream.......

And what is the difference between "Partly cloudy" and "Partly sunny"?