The Forecaster Who Cried “Snow”

All weekend the people of central Ohio were subject to dire winter storm warnings. Forecasters were predicting such a walloping that some people were calling the anticipated storm “Snowmaggedon.”

The much-anticipated weather system finally hit last night. First we got a layer of freezing rain–always treacherous, if you’re out and about, as we were–and then later the snow started. When we drove back from a dinner out with friends, the snow was coming down at a good clip. We had to scrape off our car and had to be cautious and take it easy on the slippery roadways. The snow continued into the night, but eventually it stopped–and this was the scene out our front door this morning. The visual evidence indicates we got about two or three inches.

I’ve lived through a true “Snowmaggedon” or two–like the great blizzard of 1978, when I was at Ohio State–and this doesn’t even come close to that category. A few inches is a decent amount of snow, but not a city-paralyzing, traffic-snarling event, especially when you consider that today is a holiday and there will be a lot less traffic on the roads.

I recognize that weather forecasting is not an exact science, but these days it seems like every prediction of snowfall gets overhyped, and becomes yet another a cause for panic buying, stress, and angst. Most people seem to take the predictions with a decent amount of skepticism and good humor, but I wish the forecasters would dial back on the rhetoric. They are at risk of being regarded like the “boy who cried wolf” in the old fairy tale.