Reporter& Farmer


Winter weather forecasting claims a tool for psychological torture

There’s a meme on social media right now that goes, “Only in the Dakotas do you say, ‘I’ve got to run out and mow my yard before it snows.’”

As I write, there are drops of rain falling in great numbers outside the office window. Considering how wet it’s been this year, that in and of itself is nothing new. But someone just mentioned they noticed white stuff mixed in with the rain.

That’s not nice.

It’s not that snow in the second week of October is unheard of, it’s just not how fall is supposed to work. Weather forecasters have been telling us this system was coming for a while now. Snowmagedon. The great snowpocolypse. Doomsnow day. These are a few terms that have been coined to describe major winter weather events in a hip, groovy way. Whatever you want to call it, we had adequate time to get mentally prepared in the week and a half leading up to this storm... Or did we?

In my opinion, the way meteorologists go about forecasting major storms should be considered psychological terror.

The fear mongering forecasting tactics they use turns the anticipation of the snow into something worse than the actual thing. They tell you well in advance that this big, ugly cold front is coming, this “potentially” historic storm, but “can’t” say exactly how big and ugly things are going to get. They blast you for days before with threats, err, I mean “warnings,” of one, two – who knows, maybe even three! – feet of snow.

Just when you’ve been forced into the fetal position in a corner – a sobbing, rocking mess of a human being – they give you the tiniest bit of hope to keep you hanging on. Who knows, they say. Maybe there will only be two inches of snow and a light breeze. The storm might also just skip on by your location completely.

As a kid I used to think being a meteorologist would be a cool gig – but now I’m not sure I’m capable of taking that much sadistic pleasure in crushing people’s spirits.

I just hope at the end of the day, the weathermen are wrong about how bad this is going to get. That way, they keep their jobs and everybody is happy.

In any case, by next weekend they say we’re set to return to our regularly scheduled autumn weather.

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