Mar 05 2008

Warning: It’s winter.

Published by at 11:15 am under Outdoors,Rants

I have ForecastFox added on to my browser. It displays the current conditions, and the projected conditions for the next two days. It also tells me if there are any severe weather alerts for my area. I have recently noticed that there has been a severe weather alert every. single. day. for about a month. You know why? Snow, mostly. Sometimes wind. Other times cold. Not just any cold, SEVERE cold.

I don’t like to break it to the National Weather Service, but in certain parts of the country snow+cold+wind=winter. It’s a season, not a severe weather situation. I can understand if I lived in Arizona and the temperature dropped to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and there was ice, but this is Michigan. What did they think was going to happen from late October – early April? Sun? There is no sun, most of the time. It’s overcast because it’s about to snow, or it just finished snowing, or because there’s a cold front moving in off the lakes.

You can’t bother us by putting out an alert that it’s going to snow. This is not news. It’s nothing to get excited about. It’s normal. You can warn us that there’s going to be an ice storm – we appreciate that. We need to know that it will take us an extra half hour to chisel the ice off the car in the morning. You can warn us that there are unseasonably WARM temperatures, and so it’s going to rain and because the ground is frozen there’s nowhere for the water to go, so watch out because it’s going to flood. We appreciate that, too, because we don’t like to be surprised. Rain in January is a surprise, because we’re expecting snow. That’s why you don’t have to warn us that it’s going to snow. We know that.

We also know it’s going to be cold. That’s because we live in the north. It gets cold up here. We all own several winter coats, and a pair of boots, and forty scarves, and six pairs of gloves, and at least three hats. We’re prepared for cold. We don’t need to be warned. We came prepared with wardrobe options. We own long underwear. We have thermal socks. We know how to dress in layers. Not just two or three layers, but four or five layers. Did you think we dressed this way because we enjoyed it? No, it’s because we enjoy our fingers and toes, and don’t want them to freeze off. It’s COLD outside. It’s easy to tell that it’s cold because of all the snow on the ground (see previous paragraph).

So please stop issuing these alerts. It’s not helpful. In fact, it’s rather annoying. It’s as though you, who all studied the science of weather for years, have not grasped the simple concepts that any one of our children understand. They all plan Halloween costumes that can be worn over a snowsuit because they know that it gets cold in Michigan early, and stays cold for several months. They know that this is called “winter”. They know it’s nothing to fuss about. Why don’t you?

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