An obsession confession

I have a confession.  I am obsessed with weather.  I’ve always had a fascination with it. Why? Well it is one of the few things (putting aside politics and the global warming debate) that we humans cannot control.  I kind of love that. Not the awful destructive storms that take lives and devastate communities. That makes me sad.  But the idea that something in nature is beyond our control, and it is one of the few things we humans haven’t harnessed, awes me.  I’m not a storm chaser… just a weather nerd. I know- it’s a little weird.
When the surprise storm of December 2009 hit our area,  I got more serious about my fixation. On the morning of December 18 that year, local T.V. forecasters were calling for 3 to 5 inches of snow. By noon they had changed their tune and were hinting at 8 plus inches, which is a lot for anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Two hours later there were updates and warnings everywhere; suddenly we were expecting feet-yes feet- of snow. I recall frantically finishing my holiday shopping with my two children and the rest of the world- everyone had gone into panic mode. At 5 p.m. I skidded into our driveway, just as the first flakes were falling and the cold pavement was getting slick. Twenty six inches later, we were snowed in for four days.  It was wonderful.  We were warm and safe and had leisurely time at home, an early Christmas gift for the whole family.
But my curiosity about how forecasts are made reached new levels.  I was a little disenchanted with The Weather Channel and local TV forecasts.  Mostly though, I was just interested in weather. So I went in search of new sources of weather information. And I discovered a whole world of private forecasters’ blogs. Wow.  Who knew?  My obsession grew… whenever severe weather seems a possibility, you can find me with no fewer than three sites open on my computer. I read them, I read the “forecast discussion” part of the NWS local forecast page. (The link is in the lower left hand corner). I’ve learned about different computer models and which tend to be most accurate with East coast storms, which  handle  long range forecasts best, and which are most credible in the 48 hours before a significant weather event begins.
I’ve developed a reputation at school for being the weather person. Sometimes my boss will ask me what I think will happen. And I have running jokes going on text with several of my colleagues, especially on the eve of a possible snow day. My friends and family tease me about my fixation.  I don’t care.
Last night my teenagers were weighing the odds of school happening today, trying to decide whether to finish their homework. I assured them (even though it was still 40 degrees and raining) that we would have lots of snow and there would be no school and they could close their books and watch the Oscars.
Rarely do they consider their mother an expert on anything.  But last night they took my advice and this morning they are sleeping in.
And now I’m going to take my dog out for a walk in the snow.

3 thoughts on “An obsession confession

  1. Yes! A fellow weather nerd! I'm one who obsesses about low pressure and watching radar. I do admit, I'm glad for winter – less drama due to fewer thunderstorms!


  2. I hope you enjoyed the snowy walk with your dog!

    I was kinda hoping for a snow day, but when I saw just a dusting outside, there was a larger part of me that was thrilled our day wasn't going to be canceled. (Though hot cocoa would've been nice!)



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