Seriously, where’s Joe Larkins when you need him? The National Weather Service issues a winter storm watch for Shelby County, warning us that the first winter storm of the season is bearing down on us and may bring 2 to 4 inches of snow with it — and Joe’s not blogging to note the upcoming weathergasms of the local media folk? What’s the world come to?
I stopped by the grocery store Sunday afternoon. I think it was too early for the panicked buying of milk and bread that always seems to accompany weather emergencies in these parts, although I hear business has picked up. Honestly, what prompts the frenzied purchase of those items in particular? When the snow buries us in our homes, do we huddle around the potbellied stove in the corner and nibble on milk toast? I mean the food, not the character — that would be Milquetoast. Nevertheless, I’ve caught a few teases over the last day or so, and heard Messrs. Simpson and Jaggers talking about the approaching storm.
Do you think that the graphics folks at the TV stations around town are already working on their STORM-A-PALOOZA 2010 graphics packages with the requisite end-of-the-world music? After all, it’s not storm coverage if people aren’t scared. That’s the thing. Most of the weather people I know are pretty responsible. They tend to be a lot more interested in the arcana of low pressure, frontal systems and isobars that the rest of us — and they can end up whipping us into a frenzy when they share some of that knowledge. I think most of them are reacting to pressure from consultant-influenced news directors (those guys can be a nervous lot).
At least one weather guy, James Spann in Birmingham, Alabama, is already promising that he won’t be frenzy-whipping, at least during the BCS National Championship game on Thursday. I admire his quote after a radio jock told viewers the station would run updates during the Texas-Alabama match up: “hold the hate mail, please, and save your energy for something else more constructive.” Give that man a cigar!
Actually, I’m a lot more worried about the cold than any snow we might get. I know us northerners poke a little fun at the locals when some snow falls around here. Back home, snow falls all the time, so they’ve got plows, salt, sand and people used to driving in snow & ice. Although, to be completely honest, when you watch the news, you see as many people who should be used to driving in bad conditions slipping and sliding as if they didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing. But, as we’ve seen on the local news (and nationally), the cold has already claimed lives here in Memphis. I’m glad to see that MLGW is working with the city and county to actually turn people’s power back on while it’s so cold out.