The message from the weather people is loud, clear and overbearing

THE OLYMPIANJanuary 22, 2012 

Now that we’ve experienced the full force of the Great Winter Storm of 2012, we should all look back and say “thank you” to the many hardworking and patriotic weathermen and women who devoted every second of the last seven days to warning us that THE SNOW IS COMING, and who, as a group, have single-handedly caused climate change through their undisciplined use of hair spray.

Northwest weather people normally get no respect. Because, let’s be frank, how hard is it to predict the weather around here? If you can’t see Mount Rainier, it’s raining. If you can, it’s going to rain. What else do you need to know?

Weather people prefer to be known these days by their scientific name, “meteorologist” – meaning, literally, the study of meteors, such as the piece of Mars that fell on Morocco recently.

It no doubt played a key role in last week’s STORM OF THE DECADE.

Having launched satellites to spy around in space, meteorologists detected that snow clouds were forming over some areas of the Puget Sound, enabling them to accurately predict that some areas of Western Washington would experience cloudiness, while other areas would not.

Our highly trained weather scientists, such as you might see on a Seattle TV station pretending to point to Olympia on a map while looking off-screen to realize that she actually has her finger on Raymond (the town, not the anchorperson), have used this satellite information to state unequivocally that we would receive precisely between 2 and 356 inches of snow. Plan accordingly.

With meteorologists screaming THE SNOW IS COMING every 11 minutes, it’s no wonder a few Olympians overreacted.

I’m referring, of course, to those who got on Interstate 5, put on their 4-way flashers and proceeded to drive 25 mph in the center lane. And to those who loaded up our cars with extra clothing, blankets, bottled water, food for a week, shovels, chain saws and battery-powered radios, just in case.

There were also some adults who couldn’t seem to get over the fact they don’t get snow days anymore.

EMPLOYEE: “Hey, Boss, there’s 2 inches of snow on my road. Guess I’ll have to stay home in my pajamas today and watch SNOW TRACKER 2012 coverage on the TV.”

BOSS: “If you aren’t here by 9, I’m giving your paycheck to the people who did show up.”

EMPLOYEE: “Should I grab you a coffee on my way in, boss?”

Looking out over my snow-covered driveway, it seemed so peaceful and calm Wednesday morning until I realized, “Sheesh, I have to shovel this stuff!”

Don’t listen to those people who tell you that shoveling snow is great exercise. Did you ever hear of a “shoveling machine” at the fitness center? No. That’s because nobody would ever use it.

Personally, I enjoy the snow, but ice belongs in a drink.

As alarming and corny as the TV weather people can be when THE SNOW IS COMING!, don’t we all long to hear them say, “You may not love my ’80s hair-do, but you’ll love these 80s.”

ET CETERA

The winter weather has slowed the donation rate of blood to the Puget Sound Blood Center, creating risk for patients in surgery and receiving cancer treatments. It usually takes 900 donors per day across Puget Sound to meet the need, and since the storm hit, the rate dropped to fewer than 150 donors each day. The Olympia branch of the Puget Sound Blood Center at 1220 Eastside St. S.E., Olympia, is normally open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357-0206 or glemasurier@theolympian.com.

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