Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Age Of The Jelly Belly Prognosticator

Ah...this has been a downright relaxing four-day weekend. Like Thanksgiving, but without the force-feeding and kitchen clean-up. That smattering of snow Thursday morning put the kibosh on education in Hillmomba.

You know my mistrust of TV meteorologists. So when they called for rain from the south, I figured something was up. Then the forecast changed twelve hours before the event. Looks like there was more of a northern track to the little storm. And the timing looked like rush hour might be affected. At first the snow would get here after ten. Then after midnight. Then after four a.m. I checked outside on my way to bed, when I woke up in the recliner at 2:30. Nothing. I tossed and turned. Because I'd already had a good six hours of chair shut-eye. That's a full night for me. So at 3:30, I checked again. Light snow.

Farmer H woke me with his alarm at 4:40. I got up and went through the motions. I did not make The Pony's lunch. The news showed three of the big school districts of Hillmomba already closed. The districts on all sides of Newmentia were already closed. Yet Newmentia was not. I stalled. No call. No text. No TV notice. I shuffled off to the shower. Farmer H got up early and used the boys' shower. He was prepared. He had gassed up his $1000 Caravan the night before, just in case. It has studded snow tires, and is much better than his Pacifica for winter driving.

Out of the shower, ready for the day, I waited. Finally, at 5:50, our phone tree snapped into action. Which is still pretty early notification. There have been times when we were already at school at 7:30 when it was called. But still. All the others knew. We should have jumped on that early-bird bandwagon.

Farmer H called when he passed I-55. He didn't get on, because traffic was at a standstill. He said the highway was the worst he had ever seen it. Like it had not even been treated. Normally, when a storm is forecast, I can see the lines of salt or other chemical treatment on the pavement in lines as regular as a treble clef. Or a bass clef, as the trombone-tooting Pony would say. Except he says it as bass, like the fish. He's an odd duck, that Pony.

On the news, MoDOT has been taking a lot of heat. I can't really blame MoDOT. I'm assuming they respond based on the forecast. Those meteorologists continue to jerk us around, crying WOLF every time a disturbance appears off the coast of Oregon. Except the one time the wolf actually has his fangs on our collective jugular. MoDOT gambled on saving money, or wasting resources. And lost.

I say we do away with the broadcast meteorologists, and replace them with a different viewer each night. A viewer with charts and mathematical equations and perhaps psychic ability, predicting the number of Jelly Bellies that the Grand Canyon can hold.

They would be just as accurate as the weather forecasters. And more entertaining.


Chickadee said...

We are really giving MoDot a lot of crap. The ONE time they don't follow through, puh-lease. And if they did take budget cuts, I don't blame them for taking a gamble. How many times did they treat the streets for nothing? Give them a break. We should be giving crap to the meteorologists for being wrong.

And btw, how is Dave's winter forecast coming along?

Hillbilly Mom said...

I have not heard Dave critique himself on that sucky December forecast. And all he will say about the rest of January is that there will be intermittent southern storms, but the question remains whether the temps will make it rain or snow.

You know. Stuff you or I could say out of our nether regions with authority, and have people believe us. Just like Dave.