Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Plugging My Ears and Closing My Eyes

That is what I feel like doing lately, with all the hyping of weather conditions that this winter has had in the media.  Attention grabbing headlines on the internet, fear mongering on the television stations, and people are all whipped up about any little change in weather.  Or lack of change in weather (ooooh, it's been below freezing for 30 entire days in January!!)

Temperatures rise above freezing?  Oh my goodness, all this snow is going to melt in an instant and cause flash floods, and we're all going to die!!!

Temperatures hover at freezing, and precipitation highly likely?  Oh my goodness, it's going to be an ice storm of epic proportions!!  And you know what happened last time you had an ice storm, right?  Your power was out for nearly a week.  Fear!  Panic!  Horror!

Temperatures below freezing?  Oh my goodness, we are having such cold, cold weather waaaaayyyyy below normal temperatures for this time of the year!  It's the beginning of the next Ice Age.

Temperatures below freezing with more snow on the way?  Oh my goodness, everyone is going to get snowed in and starve to death!  Rooves are going to cave in under all the weight of the snow!!

Bah.  That's what I say.  Bah.  Baloney.  Bullsh--.  Just shut up all ready.  Take a look at the numbers, that's all that is relevant.  The number that tells high and low temperatures for the day.  The number that tells the percentage chance of precipitation and the number that says how much precipitation in inches.  The number that tells you wind speed.  Looking at the letter or letters that indicate wind direction are pretty telling too.  But don't look at any words!!  Don't read those!!  Don't listen to those!!  Those are where they throw in the stuff that sells.  Fear!!

High temperatures in Michigan in late February and early March that are in the teens and twenties?  Yeah, lower than average, but not unheard of.  Not anything to get your panties in a wad over.  Ice storms this time of year?  Pretty typical, actually.  When your temperature is bouncing in and out of the thirties and there is precipitation (and there is always precipitation in late Feb. and early March) you are going to get one of two things pretty much daily:  rain turning to ice, or wet heavy snow.  Yeah, your power might go out.  You have lived through this before, if you've lived in Michigan for more than a few years, so you should know this is normal, and you should be prepared.

What you should not be doing is letting the media whip you all into a frenzy.  When can you pack away your ice scraper, snow shovel, and winter gear?  In June, duh.  Because that is the first month you are pretty much guaranteed to not need them anymore.  Late February is not the end of winter.  Nor is the beginning of March.  There is no magic switch that turns the weather to a consistent fifty degrees and ends all possibility of snow or ice.  To think that at this time of year you're going to have anything other than a fluctuation from freezing to thawing, with occasional cold snaps harking back to mid-winter, is ludicrous.

Okay.  Ears stuffed with cotton, eyes focused only on numerical data when I peruse the weather sites for info.  No lip reading when the weatherman on TV gives his report.  Nope.  Save the words for something else.  As far as the weather forecast is concerned, give me data; it doesn't stretch the truth.  Besides, the forecast is at best a pretty good guess, by computers, based on past and present atmospheric conditions, at what the atmosphere is going to be like in the future.  It is not infallible.  It is not written in stone.  It is not anything to dose yourself with anti-anxiety meds over.  Weather has been happening since time immemorial, and the world has not ended yet.

End rant.

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