Well, at least parts of it . . .
The sky often has a lot of water in it.
When it has way too much water, it rains.
When the air is cold enough, that rain can become snow. Here in Huntsville, we have had LOTs of rain this week, enough to elevate concern for flooding on several rivers, large creeks and even the Tennessee River was a concern in places. But here in North Alabama, flooding is common enough to not panic.
BUT then, the forecast includes sub-freezing temperatures and that scary word “snow“.
OMG, WTF, etc… You would think the sky was gonna fall .!.
Well, the sky fell today – and there was a wide-spread panic.Oh, you can say that since I have previously lived in Denver; and have even spent time in Boston in the dead of winter – that I would not surprisingly throw down on my fellow southerners. I hope I am not that cruel. But still, it was crazy.
I have worked with the NWS, in particular the SKYWARN program – and typically I see the same weather briefing information that they distribute to the local/regional Emergency Management Agencies / Law Enforcement groups / municipal groups like school boards, and such. Often this is nearly identical to what the mainstream-media presents, as they get it from the same source. And yes, I will admit to knowing a few basic things about weather – having been witness to weather events for nearly 60 some years now……
But still . . . . . . . I hafta say :
Something went bad wrong today. Somebody wasn’t paying attention.
The information I had seen, even the night before – suggested that the worst conditions for the Huntsville area, would be starting around lunchtime – and would likely finish after a few hours, leaving an inch maybe two of snow. The likelihood of ice on roadways and overpasses would be initially significant, but would diminish by mid afternoon. Maybe I read too much into the forecast.
In other parts of the world (where it snows more than once/yr)
this is normal and expected.
However, this is not other parts of the world… OUR sky was falling .!.
It appears to me that someone, somewhere over-reacted and said
“The Sky IS Falling ! AND we have to go into PANIC mode”.
So, it gets to be almost lunchtime and the next thing I know, is that the county schools are closing. Well, so that word got around and next thing you know, the city schools are closing. So, guess who is next… The entire Redstone Arsenal/NASA-MSFC is closing at noon. The worst part of the ‘storm’ is just getting started, and now we have thousands, if not 10s of thousands of freaked-out people on the roads trying to escape the ‘blizzard‘.
Guess what .?.?. Now nobody can get anywhere, because not only do we have hazardous road conditions, but we have literally thousands of people trying to escape… It was bad. It was ugly. Beyond words. Beyond reason. But who am I to say anything. I stayed at my desk, knowing that there was no point to joining into the panic. I can not imagine how many thousands of dollars of mostly-combusted gasoline went into the atmosphere; how many thousands of lost-productive hours of human labor were dissipated by this fiasco, but I didn’t contribute. I stayed at my desk and did stuff until about 3:30 or 4pm before I left. There was no traffic, and the roads were clear. Surprised ? I wasn’t. The information I had received suggested that it would have finished snowing, and moved on eastward by mid-afternoon – and sure enough;
the sun was shining while I drove home, and with no traffic.!.
How many accidents were logged and required response. IDK. How many folks rushed to the grocery stores and stocked up on FrenchToast supplies, IDK…
I try to defend my fellow Southerners when I can, but this one event will defy even my generosity. I don’t know who’s head was in what dark place, but it sure was painful for a lotta folks. I’ve even seen an apology (of sorts) from a local school board – suggesting that the information they had was not the best.
I understood the forecast. The NWS did what they do best, as usual.
It was still the school board‘s decision to shut down the schools and send everyone out into the streets just as they were becoming the most dangerous. This would not be so upsetting, but I have also seen them do this just as a storm system (with tornadoes) is approaching. They are too scared to keep the kids at school where they can be safe, and instead choose to dump them out near their homes at the peak of a storm ? WTF ?
This obviously must have something to do with their liability insurance.
Jus Sayn . . . . . .
I am obviously opinionated (and don’t keep my head in a dark place)…
So, maybe next time it will be different – but just as likely NOT.
I still prefer living in the south, and will try to defend my fellow Southerners against such worries as “Scared of a little SNOW ?” BwHaaaaa…!… Boo !