Snowstorms, Calamity Days…and Weather Reports

snowflakeI don’t understand weather reports anymore.

Used to be Dick Goddard, a Cleveland meteorologist, clad in his green sport coat and snazzy brown polyester pants, gave us an evening weather report on Channel 8 news.

It was fairly straightforward. Dick stood in front of a big map of Ohio. A giant cloud of green moving towards our area meant rain. A cloud of turquoise meant snow. This was followed by a large picture with potential snowfall amounts for local cities; 1-2 inches in one color, 3-6  in another color and so on.

There were red funnels for tornadoes and yellow sunshine graphics for sunny skies. Being Clevelander’s we knew “Alberta Clipper” and “Lake Effect Snow” meant potential school cancellations.

My father often joked that “Dick didn’t know di@k” about the weather headed our way, but we understood that Mr. Goddard did his best. Sometimes he was right on, sometimes not even close…

Enter better technology.

We have satellite views, fancy radars, more classifications and risk categories and very technical weather terminology in our weather reports, which is why I rarely watch them.

snow

I don’t understand. I try, but when the weather people start talking, their lips are moving—and I have no idea what they are saying. I would need a glossary of terms from the weather channel to get it.

Dick Goddard is older and has long since retired, but he occasionally comes on TV… and rambles–He STILL makes more sense than the younger, more tech savvy meteorologists, who follow him with the ‘real’ weather report.

Because I don’t understand television weather forecasts, I’ve tried online reports and weather apps for my iPhone. Still no clarity.

And it might just be me. I might not be too bright.

After all, I’m the girl who is perpetually BEHIND the salt truck and IN FRONT of the plow.

While I don’t mind my children’s school being cancelled for a Snow Day—or what they now call a Calamity Day—the family vacation to Hilton Head, S.C. is booked for July. Given the amount of Calamity Days this year, I’m hoping my children aren’t STILL in school mid-summer.

I’m not well-informed on weather conditions in our area, but here’s what I know:

It’s been a snowy, cold winter. I didn’t leave the house yesterday, because when I looked out the windows, I could see a blizzard and the road did not appear plowed. Today isn’t great. Still cold. I don’t currently see a blizzard outside. So I’m going out to get some groceries, because I hear rumblings of more snow days this week. That means I need extra food in the house to keep the bottomless pit (my almost 6’2” teenager who is pushing 200lbs) fed. I haven’t watched the weather today—but cold temperatures produce ice, so I can ascertain the roads are slippery. I will drive slow. And I will take the bottomless pit to the store with me, so I get the right stuff.

Blizzard outside. Rocky dog is happy on the couch inside.

Blizzard outside. Rocky Dog is happy inside.

I also know not to let the dogs outside longer than it takes to do their business. We stand and wait, to make sure they are only out for a minute. No worries, they don’t hang around outside long.

Am I the only one who doesn’t understand? Or am I alone in this?

If anybody can recommend a weather app, website or TV station with a weather report I might be able understand, please comment on this blog.