Monday, January 31, 2011


Certainly, the end is nigh. Since Saturday night, with varying degrees of hype and alarm, the local electronic media have been warning us that a one-two-punch “snow event” is descending upon us. As I write this, mid-day Monday, it’s snowing, and the predictions vary between 10 and 20 inches of accumulation between now and some time Wednesday.

The social media are abuzz with talk about the snow, and some of the snarkiest comments about predictions of doom and gloom are being posted by current and former broadcasters of my acquaintance, many ridiculing the very stories they will be ordered to do in the next 48 hours.

It’s all so formulaic and predictable now. Sunday evening the story begins with video of piles of salt, snow plows in the garage, and weather maps showing how we’ll just be done with one storm when the second will swoop up and assault us.

On the evening news tonight, the local TV stations will send reporters outside to stand near busy intersections or be posted near the Beltline, to report that it is, in fact, snowing. Tomorrow’s stories will be filled with interviews of municipal officials, telling of how the great and terrible storm will affect our lives, slow commerce to a snail’s pace, and will warn us against tuning away, lest we miss some aspect of their broadcast that might just save our lives.

Wednesday’s fare will consist of “road closures and school closings”, as one local radio reporter put it a few weeks ago when we had a blast of snow. They still haven’t figured out whether they should change “school closings” to “school closures.”

A friend of mine who picks up beer money as a part-time radio personality tweeted that the formula to determine how much snow we’ll get is to take the predictions of the local meteorologists and cut them in half.

It’s likely we’ll get a bunch of snow; it’s likely there will be people driving like idiots; and it’s likely we’ll survive.

1 comment:

  1. Well. For the first time in .....20?....30? years of this Snow Death Doom Gloom stuff, I heard a new and interesting fact: with the wind and low-pressure gradient, they are now forecasting TEN TO FIFTEEN FOOT WAVES coming onshore to Milwaukee off Lake Michigan.

    Prolly worth the trip for you to come and see them.