The Right to Forecast Snow

Snow Treasure versus Trash

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Narrative

The vent line has been abnormally hot this Wednesday as the snow pattern has left some disappointed. No threats of bodily harm yet, but as I learned playing hockey, always keep your head up! For the record, I was a speedy center who was tough to body check and those smarts have served me well in my career as a crack shot (or is that crack pot?) meteorologist.

Of course, the First Amendment to the Constitution gives us all the freedom to express ourselves, so our resident Political Scientist Keith Morehouse reminds me. But a word of caution, I also have that right!

One e-mail in particular made me do a double take today when a reader in Charleston sent a disgruntled message just as a heavy burst of snow was moving into Kanawha County.

Posted by: jackson on Feb 27, 2008 at 08:42 AM
yeah, like "what snow" said...where's the 4" inches or even the 2" here in charleston?

It would soon snow hard for several hours with a fast and furious 4 inches accumulating at Yeager airport with at least 2 inches laying on Slack Plaza downtown! Using my first amendment right, my suggestion, check the radar out before coronating the forecast wrong and the forecaster an idiot!

That’s not to say the forecast was dead on evrywhere. I will admit the flavor of a 1”-3” snow in Southern Ohio and the River Cities sounds a tad high. Many local reports of a general inch or inch and half fell into the predicted range here in the Ohio Valley as did Carl Etterling’s report of 2.75” in Wheelersburg. I myself shoveled a half inch to one inch on the steps where I live in Barboursville.

Much of Kentucky from Vanceburg to Greenup and Olive Hill indeed measured the 1”-3” forecasted. Check out the e-pictures from Olive Hill to confirm! Hey, maybe I can keep my job for another day?

Last night I signaled out the Coalfield region and Kanawha Valley as capable of 2”-4”. I sense that was pretty much on target especially after seeing the snowplows work the runway at Yeager! Still I admit a few e-mails from down south recorded only an inch. Guess you guys didn’t pay your taxes down there! Just kidding.

The forecast in the mountains as usual was dead on. Personally I find predicting the accumulations there easier since there is always less melting and hence more sticking. Richwood was already at 6” by 6 PM tonight, so say the good folks at the Four Seasons Lodge.

Roane Countians say "TC for President" as they measured 2”-4” while Masonites say "throw the liar" in jail as they managed a mere inch! You get the picture. One man’s snow treasure was another’s snow trash.

One final word and I say this with total conviction; namely, if I could forecast the weather down to the town level, I would be making millions on Wall Street not trying to figure who might get a fresh coating to inch of snow tonight.

The science in meteorology is exact in telling you why it happened today. But the challenge in forecasting tomorrow's weather requires not just the math and science, but also good old fashioned imagination and creativity. In that regard I have a lot more dreaming to do!

So let me propose a XXVIII amendment.

THE RIGHT TO FORECAST SNOW

All US citizens should be free to forecast snow as their talents and intellects allow. When those forecasts go astray, no law shall be deemed broken and the citizens of the US should not hold malice toward the predictor.

Case closed!

A gallery of snow pictures follows!


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