So it begins…

Winter that is.  Well not officially given the actual start date of the winter solstice isn’t until Dec., but anyone living in Pennsylvania will attest that for us it definitely begins well before then. I just went to weather.com to look for any accumulations predicted for tomorrow.  Why I do this I’m still not sure as I know their meager prediction of 1 inch could very well equate to nothing beyond flurries to up to a foot.  Oh and throw in a thick sheet of ice just for good measure. 

I’m surprised there aren’t school delays or closings listed.  This area (northeastern PA) is notorious for delaying, closing, or letting out schools at the mere mention of the words “snow, sleet or freezing rain.”  Sometimes even “heavy rain” will merit a cancellation.  I get it, everyone wants to keep the kids safe and no one wants the guilt of letting buses on the roads and risking an accident.  Seriously though if we had missed as much school when I went as what the kids in this area seemed to last year, we would’ve never learned a thing.  Throw some snow tires on the buses, drive with caution and at least wait until some snow has fallen before delaying or closing.

I honestly wish there wouldn’t be the technology to predict the weather.  The pioneers of the olden days didn’t rely on dopplar radar or Iphone apps to tell them what was coming; they just looked outside and went with it.  I’m an absolute anxiety-ridden mess when it comes to driving in bad weather.  I don’t even like driving at night in the rain.  To me I’d rather not spend my 8 hour shift agonizing over what’s waiting for me when I leave work after listening to people’s own weather reporting.  It always seems as if the predictions grow as the day lengthens.  The irony of it is that the worst predictions tend to result in next to nothing while when no forewarning is issued it seems the roads are the most hazardous.

Another thing I find completely humorous in the weather related paranoia is the naming of winter storms.  “Boreas” is apparently sweeping towards the Northeast from the Great Lakes as I type.  Boreas?  Really?  I had read last year that the decision to name winter storms was to help raise awareness of the seriousness of them, similar to the naming of hurricanes.  Apparently it also makes them easier to identify in news reports as well as in historical tracking.  I personally never had an issue in just referring to them as “The Blizzard of ’96” and such. 

Having worked at a grocery store for over 3 years I can attest to the fact that people do not need any more warning of a storm, and naming it has no bearing on how seriously people will take it.  Mention the word “snow” and trust me, all Hell breaks loose within hours.  It doesn’t matter how much bread, milk and eggs someone has at home (are we all going to live off of French toast?), he or she will certainly be running out to get more.  It’d like an innate paranoia.  Or maybe a media-induced frenzy designed to boost the economy.  In either case it’s not fun to deal with and I beg you, unless you honestly need to go out for something or are doing your regular grocery shopping, stop flooding your local stores in hordes.  I promise that you’ll be fine.

With all of that said I will most likely be watching any and every flake fall tomorrow as “Boreas” comes, hoping that the roads are actually salted for a change, and that everyone is staying put until I leave work.  With any luck nothing beyond some cold air and rain will fall.  Then of course we’ll just sit and wait until the next one comes along so everyone can begin the worrying process all over again.

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