humorous look at TV weathermen/people as well as weather in Minnesota, don't ya know
| Living in Minnesota affords a person many benefits not found in other parts of the country. Great schools, great standard of living, "Minnesota Nice".
We also have the luxury of enjoying all four seasons, although some are shorter than others.
Summer, for instance, though technically three months long, can be over in the blink of an eye. Sometimes summer consists of one week in late July when the temperature actually reaches above 75 degrees. July is also the only month in which it has not snowed in Minnesota, somewhere.
Our weather is ever-changing and wholly unpredicatable. The joke around the state is "if you don't like the weather, stick around for fifteen minutes, it'll change."
Conversely, this is part of the reason Minnesota is such a great place to live. Most folks cannot handle the extreme weather variations from one season to the next. Especially the criminal element. We just don't see many drug traffickers, ladies of the evening or cat burglars prowling around when it is 15 below zero. And how many states can boast that their lowest recorded temprature, not wind-chill mind you, but air temprature is 60 degrees below zero, farenheit.
This type of cold air will turn a glass of water into vapor when thrown into the air. Air this cold will frost-bite exposed skin in mere minutes. Any bodily fluids leaking out of runny noses are hardened into icicles in seconds. I have personally seen men with mustaches and beards that contain numerous stalactites made of mucus.
We have plugs on our cars, and they're not electric cars. The electricity is channelled to a heater somewhere that heats up something which enables the car's battery to turn the engine over in 25 below weather. The tires are rock hard. By the time the heater in the car is blowing warm air, you're already at work. Sometimes in January and February, it is so cold that during rush hour, the exhaust from all the cars on the road actually freezes on the roadway creating black ice. Notorious for it's invisibility, black ice claimed me as a victim just this year. I was the last person unable to stop in what turned out to be a ten-car pile up, caused by black ice.
Rural children are driven to the end of their drive-ways and huddle in a little shelter built by their father while they wait for the school bus.
Weather extremes are the norm in Minnesota. This then begs the question, how do the local meteorologists make accurate and concise predictions for the next days weather?
Well, this question was answered for me many years ago, after a particularly strong and copious rainfall. As I paddled my canoe down the street to the local convenience store, it occurred to me that this wasn't quite the forecast that had been predicted on the 10 o'clock news. I think the exact words were " a chance of rain in the morning, so bring an umbrella." No mention of the need for a floatation device to get to work. No mention of the frequent lightning strikes that split trees, started fires, and sent my dog scurrying under the bed. No mention of the possibility that my basement would be under 17 inches of water.
Again that same winter, "snow flurries ending by noon", turned into 18" of heavy wet snow requiring a road grader and two truckloads of salt to navigate our street.
All this wouldn't bother me so much if these "meteorologists" would just tell the truth. When it comes right down to it, they really don't know.
Therefore, the weather forcast from here on out should be titled " Chances Are", and leave it at that.
This margin of error would allow the percentage of accurate forecasts to skyrocket. They would never be wrong. "Chances are tomorrow will see sun with a chance of rain. If the storm moves such and such a way, we'll have lots of rain, if not, sunshine. Frankly we don't know where this thing is headed, so be prepared." I can't tell you how many times I've heard the weather guy say he didn't know which way the storm would turn. Or, here's something he didn't see coming. It might stall right on top of us and dump rain/snow for 24 straight hours.
I thought these people went to college to learn this stuff. I thought they used computer models to predict storm paths. Computers programmed by meteorologists, no doubt.
All I'm asking for are the basics. It might rain, it might snow, the sun will probably shine and the temprature is going to be 15 below, with a plus or minus 10 degrees. I can live with that.
That should shorten our News weather-casts by about 75%, leaving more time to focus on the latest snowmobiler or ice-fisherman to fall through a frozen lake. With his 3/4 ton dually F-150. That's a whole 'nother story. Chances are, this is THE END!