Enough with Weather Histrionics!

The following was on my old blog a couple years ago. It’s been updated but the essence is the same: Hey, TV weather people! Quit getting all melodramatic over two flakes of snow!

I live in Indiana, and we get the occasional heavy snow though Indiana is not really considered a Snow Belt state, not counting the far northern regions near Lake Michigan. South Bend and all that “lake effect” snow…Come on, it happens when one lives near a large lake.

I can live with a few inches of snow, bitter cold, and a sprinkling of ice. As long as it doesn’t slow me down or seriously impede my daily routine, I don’t have a problem with it. The problem is the TV weather people overly hyping how much we’re expecting, and making it seem worse than it is or ever will be. Oh my goodness, three to five inches of snow tomorrow. It’s the end of the world as we know it!

They’re constantly in our faces with “Wind chills well below zero.” I know what wind chill is, just tell me the air temperature. That’s what determines if what falls from the clouds ends up as sleet, snow, or freezing rain, not the wind chill. Besides, the wind chill is how one perceives the cold. If the air temperature is in the 20’s and the wind is blowing 20+ MPH, then your body will think it’s minus zero. But some people have different reactions to the cold. I know how really cold temperatures effect me. I get headaches if I’m out in cold too long. My fingers, though well protected with heavy mittens, will get numb if I stand out in the bitter cold too long, as do my toes despite the heavy socks and shoes. I’ve seen folks outside, air temps below freezing or lower, and these guys are hardly bundled up – no heavy coat, no hat, no scarf. They seem to take it well. I know one guy who will go out in his shirt sleeves because he claims his body runs to the hot side. It has to get really cold – like way below zero – before he puts on a warmer coat and hat.

So now instead of listening to the weather hype on TV, I go to Weather.com or NOAA’s site. I can read a weather map, gauge how a system is moving, interpret the predictions, then make my own decisions on how I’ll conduct my business the next day. Will I get by with the lighter all-weather coat or do I have to wear that heavier “bed quilt” that keeps me warm no matter what? Will I have to leave the house a little earlier to make the usual three to five-minute trek to the bus stop because of icy sidewalks or thick fog? Just give me tomorrow morning’s air temperature, whether it’s icy or raining or foggy, and I’ll take it from there. Just don’t scare me with “dangerous conditions” when it’s not all that dangerous. I think people can judge for themselves how to dress and take precautions when the weather turns nasty.

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