Friday, December 19, 2008

Bring It On

I don't have any particular feelings about snow. It's pretty when it falls, you move it out of your way, life goes on. Snow happens, or it doesn't, and then eventually spring arrives. End of story. It would appear, however, that the forecast of snow engenders a type of hysteria in everyone else. Naturally, I blame the media. Snowfall cannot simply be predicted. Instead, we must "brace" for winter storms that "bear" down on us.

We "brace" for snow events by madly stocking up on toilet paper and canned goods, if the mad rush I experienced yesterday at the Farmer's Market and grocery store serves as an indication. I know, it's the week before Christmas, but I wasn't surrounded by a mob stocking up on fattened goose. The mob was buying milk, water, and other staples. And of course toilet paper. Americans seem to have an ingrained fear that apocalypse will bring with it a shortage of toilet paper. We might be snowed in for a day! How will we wipe ourselves! The horror!

It's as if the prediction of snow causes a mass forgetting of what a glance at the empirical evidence makes clear: we are not 19th century homesteaders in the rural midwest. We live in the 21st century in the densely populated mid-Atlantic. No matter how many inches fall, we will not be snowed in for the winter. The chances of being snowed in for even a day are slim. Yes, we had a blizzard in January, 1996, and it took two days for my streets to be cleared, but that was almost 13 years ago. Four inches of snow will not render anyone helpless.

Despite a complete lack of meteorological training, years of observation allow me to point out the fact that nearly all of our significant precipitation comes to us from one direction: south. That's why they're called "nor-easters" in the winter, "tropical storms" other times of year. Storms that come from the north, the west, or the northwest don't flood us or blanket us with snow. Today's storm is coming from Missouri. It's now 8 AM, and the "overnight" snow has yet to begin to fall. I don't feel at all silly, though. After all, I'm not the one who rushed out yesterday to buy batteries and a case of toilet paper.


tunsie said...

I think the bread and milk men r always calling the weather station and asking them 2 PREDICT snow. snow is very very important 2 me especially when there is a fireplace[that is another comment].tunsie.tunsie.tunsie

tunsie said...

snow is a precursor 2 a fireplace.but then again most people have not lived yet.i will tell u how 2 live be 4 u die.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie