Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Amazing Blizzard Vapor!

Few places on Earth have the concentrated mass of bullshit meteorologists as Hampton Roads.  There's an irony here that I will get to in a minute.  First however, was the media blitz, replete with fancy computer graphics and dramatic theme music, leading into each "weather center" update.  These "segments" dominated the news like nothing else.  Barack who?  Inauga-what?  We got a blizzard coming!   No time to crap your pants, you gotta stay tuned to our over-hyped weather forecast!

I'm not kidding.  Stores sold out of batteries, flashlights, bottled water (jugs mostly), and rock salt.  I'm really not kidding.  The NOAA site also had "1-3 inches of snow accummulation" for the Hampton/Newport News peninsula, the outermost reach of this treacherous storm.  The forecast for the southside (Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach) was just a tad bit lower than for the Northern edge of North Carolina, which was supposed to be 2-6 inches, depending on whom you listened to.

We got NOTHING.  NOTHING.  It was sunny and cold today.  Not a single flake fell in Virginia Beach or Newport News.  At least not anywhere near anyone I spoke with.  I never saw one.  The sun was shining bright and clear in Newport News.

The pretentiousness of some of our local "chief meteorologist" folks is such that my kids joke about one of them as "the Jeff Lawson show" whenever his face appears.  Not to pick on Jeff here as the only example, they're all bad.  Even worse, when they blow a forecast, they almost always come on the next day and lead off with "as I told you yesterday..." which is a joke.

The irony here is that 35 years ago we had an old barrel-chested retired military meteorologist named Joe Folks.  Channel 13 weatherman.  Never had a single electronic device within 100 feet besides the TV cameras and lights.  He wrote on a white board with a dry erase marker.  His voice was deeper than James Earl Jones.  At the end of each segment, he would put the cap on his marker, slide into his coat chest pocket and salute the viewers, saying "That's the weather".  Always smiling.  NEVER WRONG.  He never blew a forecast.  Never.  All this so-called technology and "advances" in forecasting techniques and they're ridiculously WORSE than Mr. Folks ever was.  There should be a bronze memorial to Mr. Folks.  We're moving backwards.  
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