HysteriaWatch: Countdown To A Weather Event
The forecasters are prepping for all-nighters, the milk shelves are already wiped clean at my local Safeway, and the kids are talking snow days. Yes, it's time to roll out another edition of SnowHysteriaWatch.
Media reports are rated on a 1-10 scale. As always, a 1 rating is what you'd give an academic meteorologist preparing a report for fellow scientists, a 5 is a report that would impel most Washingtonians to rush out for the Holy Trinity of TP, milk and bread, and a 10 is what would get Channel 4's Pat Collins to rush right over to your house to plant his measuring stick deep into the snow drifts obscuring what used to be your front door.
Here are the magic words from the National Weather Service: "AT THIS POINT SNOW... SLEET... AND FREEZING RAIN ALL LOOK TO BE
PLAYERS IN OUR WEATHER PICTURE." The feds are also using some nicely urgent phrasing to ratchet up the fear: "A HIGH IMPACT WEATHER EVENT IS LIKELY." Hysteria rating: 4.
Over at the always-cautious and smart CapitalWeather.com, they're not making any specific predictions quite yet, but forecaster Jason Samenow says "some snow is likely everywhere during the early and late phases of the storm." Hysteria rating: 1
"The Big One On The Way?" asks Channel 9, which is so excited, they have snow falling on their home page. Hysteria rating: 6.
Channel 4, in contrast, plays it safe, sticking with the National Weather Service wording. Hysteria rating: 2.
Over on Fox, you get the added bonus of a bit of the fabulous Eastern Motors ad jingle before weathercaster Gwen Tolbart reports the possibility of snow, sleet or ice on Tuesday--a very tempered and reasonable piece recorded on Sunday afternoon. "The models are all over the place, so it's kind of hard to pull it all together," she says. Hysteria rating: 2.
More as the event nears.
By Marc Fisher |
February 11, 2007; 5:33 PM ET
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