Where Would You Put Washington's Weather Ball?
Weather Ball, where have you been all my life?
No, I'm not talking about a black-tie affair for weather junkies. (Though who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall in that room?)
The Weather Ball I speak of watches high over cities like Grand Rapids, Mich., and Sioux City, Iowa. It doesn't waste our time waving its hands at confusing maps and yakking about high pressure, low pressure, stalled fronts and stationary fronts. Rather, it gets right to the point, using colors to signal the weather to come:
In Grand Rapids...
Red = warmer ahead
Blue = cooler in view
Green = no change forseen
Colors blinking bright = rain or snow in sight
and in Sioux City...
White as snow = down the temperature will go
Red as fire = tempearture going higher
Emerald green = forecast says no change in scene
When color flashes in agitation = there's going to be precipitation
I would *love* to get one of these in my house. This would make up for never getting that traffic light I wanted in my room -- you know, like the one on Silver Spoons.
I know, I know. Being a meteorologist and all I shouldn't need a ball to tell me what the weather will be. But it sure sounds easier than looking at those darn computer models. And if all these cities have one, why can't Washington?
Think about the value. With taxpayer money, the city funds a 600-bazillion-dollar baseball stadium that only gets used a few hours a day on 81 days per year, plus some concerts and papal visits thrown in. Weather Ball, at a fraction of the price, would operate 24/7/365. At any given time of day or night, dozens if not hundreds of people could be gazing upward at Weather Ball. And talk about a conversation piece.
Instead of colors, Washington's Weather Ball could light up with presidents' faces. I already have one in mind to indicate "hot air on the push."
On a more serious note, in the absence of tornado sirens, wouldn't Weather Ball make a great tool for warning Washingtonians of an approaching twister? Seems like it might be more effective than fire engines blaring their sirens and honking their horns -- virtually the only form of warning Atlanta residents received before a tornado struck the downtown area on March 14. Weather Ball could do wonders for the challenge of warning people in urban centers about dangerous weather.
So , where should we put Washington's Weather Ball?
WJLA-7 had the perfect vantage point for one of these guys -- overlooking D.C. and the Potomac River from atop its high-reaching Rosslyn skyscraper. That is until the view was recently obstructed by its new neighbor.
If it were me, I'd go for the gusto. I'd bring in a top-notch engineering team to balance it on the pointy tip of the Washington Monument. Hey, it can't be all that much harder than when a seal balances a beach ball on its nose.
Or, we could balance it on the head of that gal at the top of the Capitol Dome.
Have some less (or more) silly suggestions? Let's hear 'em.
Posted by: dk on Capitol Hill | May 22, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse
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