Jay Cronley: Weather reports blow in a panic
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, December 28, 2012
12/28/12 at 3:40 AM
Winter weather predicting history was made this week.
Congratulations are in order: They came close.
This time, it snowed in Oklahoma City and over southwest Missouri - it came down on two sides of us.
Oftentimes in the winter, particularly early in the season, they come close only to the north.
We were supposed to get from 1 to 4 inches of snow and instead got 1 to 4 inches of leaves.
Ice memories: Winter weather predictions are taken to heart because of the joy factor - kids standing on hills with sleds waiting for the good times that the meteorologists had promised - and because of fear - the memories of the ice storm of the eon that knocked us out cold half a dozen or so years ago.
The possibility of winter weather to come drives our people fast and without hesitation to the snow shovel and grain racks - drag home some wheat and flour in case we're cut off for a month. We roll our eyes at insane heat and drought, but panic full-out at the prospect of a little snow.
Winter weather precautions get expensive fast.
When work or travel plans are altered, it usually costs money.
The Weather Channel, which has gone upscale nerd with its guys in tight shirts and women in snug skirts, was as wild with its first major winter storm pitch as anybody, covering northeastern Oklahoma with snow graphics at every turn.
Local television did what local television does best before the possibility of a winter storm: They went nuts.
Live reports from the giant sand box for streets and from the home improvement stores are mandatory. One reporter even interviewed a possible first responder to the storm that didn't materialize.
Sad to say, responders who have not yet responded don't have a lot to discuss.
Knee-jerk reaction: Almost anybody can predict a storm along a clearly defined frontal system.
Trick knees seldom miss on drastic weather change.
It's the unpredictable jet stream and the temperature freezing line that make predicting winter weather so difficult.
The jet stream is like a roller coaster with ice in the back car - it's hard to guess where it will fly out and land.
Here's our hope with the winter weather forecasts.
A .250 batting average is about right for this circuit.
Original Print Headline: Weather reports blow in a panic