Winter Misery

The one person you never want to see in your hometown is Jim Cantore.

Not that he’s not cute as a bug and smart as a whip.

No, it’s because he always shows up when bad weather is on its way. Or has already arrived.

Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Blizzards? Yep, poor Jim gets ’em all.

If you’re lucky enough not to be where he is, you can watch him on The Weather Channel. Better for your nerves, you know.

Anyway, Jim’s probably wearing hip-high waders, standing in the middle of storm surge with floating debris circling like sharks, talking about uprooted palm trees and windows shattered out of buildings.

Or he’s in an L.L. Bean parka, stocking hat, and insulated gloves, pointing out downed limbs, frozen water pipes, and a coating of ice on streets and sidewalks.

Not something you want to endure in your lifetime.

Wonder what poor Jim did to deserve the difficult assignments (or are they plum assignments? I sure wouldn’t know). Perhaps it’s just his nature, to follow the bad weather, sympathize with its victims, and explain it so those of us not suffering through it will understand what happened and why.

But I think it must be depressing, having to listen to all those sad stories from residents affected by Mother Nature’s wrath.

Speaking of weather, have you noticed that suddenly, we’ve got named winter storms?

The first time I heard The Weather Channel talking about “Athena,” my interest piqued. But as they moved to “Brutus” and “Caesar,” it became just plain annoying.

We’ve been calling hurricanes by name since the 1940s, way before many of us were born, so we’re used to that. Besides, hurricanes don’t generally roll in one right on the heels of another.

Winter storms are different. As soon as one crosses the Rockies, another one forms to take its place. It’s nothing to see two or three of them dotting various locations on the map, with weather casters looking like jugglers trying to keep up with who’s who.

The idea of naming winter storms started with the 2012-13 winter season. Weather casters claim a name gives a storm personality, raises public awareness, and makes it easier to track.

What do you think? Do you prefer something descriptive like “Snowmageddon” or “Blizzard of 1980?” Or do you like giving winter storms a name like “Draco,” “Gandolf,” and “Khan”?

I’m not sure, but I think misery is misery, regardless of what you call it!

16 thoughts on “Winter Misery

  1. Down here in hurricane country, Cantore’s presence is tracked like the storms. Now that we have twitter, it’s easier to track him, too. You’re right – if Cantore’s in your neighborhood, it’s not good. He camped out in the Hilton across the lake from me during Ike. That was the hotel that got all the concrete panels blown off. 😉

    As for those winter storm names – any real weather geeks think they’re stupid. It’s a marketing ploy at heart. They were thought up by The Weather Channel, and the National Weather Service has NOT bought in. Most of the people I know who are serious about the weather don’t make use of them, either. It’s just silly.

    The truth is, TWC likes the names because it makes it easier to create hype and get people panic-stricken. Well, that’s my opinion, anyway. 😉

    • A good observation, Linda. I’m not fond of the named winter storms, either (though I don’t want to think it’s my “old fogy” side coming out, ha!). And you’re right about the hype. Some of their “experts” have a way of warning the public that evokes more a feeling of terror than education. Thanks for visiting and offering your thoughts!

    • I hadn’t thought too much about it, Suzi, until I did a bit of research. I found it kind of interesting, though I confess I was more partial to their efforts at rhyming — “Blast from the Past,” etc.!

  2. Ha ha! I can just picture Jim and hear those weathermen announcing the next great storm. It’s like the breaking news stories that flash at the bottom of the screen. When did the news –especially weather—become so sensationalized. If it makes you feel any better, Debbie, journalists in Europe are doing the same thing.

    • Well, actually, that kind of does make me feel better, Pat, haha! I’d hate to think only our weather casters were sensationalizing storms, when weather should be a pretty universal thing. I find it kind of sad, though, that there are so many voices, all shouting at once, that journalists, too, have to embellish their stories to get attention.

  3. Company has arrive (I will take my boots off) Yesterday the temp was 31 degrees and the weather included freezing rain, lightening and thunder. By about 11pm the temp was around 37 with rain. When I woke up at 6am the temp was about 47 and foggy/balmy. The weather services are predicting 61 on Tuesday and then a dive back down to 3 degrees overnight Thursday to Friday. I like the names: Over, Done, Far Away, Gone.
    Poor Dear Jim! Fun post.

    • Tomorrow, we’re supposed to be 66, with strong T-storms. By Thursday, the low is expected to be 9 degrees. Yikes, no wonder everybody’s sick!! The Weather Channel should have asked you what to name those storms — your suggestions are much easier to remember!!

  4. I haven’t noticed the storm naming (but then again, I haven’t seen a newscast in weeks.) I don’t like it, but I agree with the first comment that it is done to hype it up. They hyped up some of our dust storms last year and it was just ridiculous.

    • I thought their job was to inform, not start a panic! If they keep that up, nobody will believe them, kind of like the little boy who cried “wolf!” once too often.

  5. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Shakespeare said it best, Debbie. Call it what you want. At the end of the day, it’s still a storm. Though I can see the point of naming them. Just like we long ago named winter and called it, Jack Frost.

    • Good analogy, Monica! You’re right — those who love winter probably like its personification as Jack Frost. The rest of us just prefer seeing its back as it rolls away!

  6. I think extreme-weather reporters love the excitement and drama of it all.

    As for naming winter storms, it seems kind of silly to me. It’s not like winter storms have an established scale to describe their magnitude (do they?) the way earthquakes and hurricanes do. So where do they draw the line with the naming business? Or don’t they?

    • Good questions, Terri. Sorry, but I don’t have answers (I wonder if The Weather Channel does?!) Yes, I’m pretty sure that reporting on the same-old, same-old in weather must be like watching grass grow!!

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