Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter in NC

There are lots of reasons that living in NC is pleasant. This week, one of those fell from the sky.

We have moderate weather, mostly. Sometimes, we have exciting precip like Tuesday. The Gods gave us snow, pretty and steady for a large part of the day.

Meteorologists on TV are masters at setting us up for oncoming -giant- history -making- potential- events. Let's be real. They want to play with their weather toys and NC doesn't give them many opportunities to do so .

We cling to the local meteorologists' reports, full of warnings and watches. More often than not, the actual event is a bit of a let down .

I recall a few years ago a local station created a neat way to vent their excitement about snow potential. The winter wasn't shaping up as they had hoped, and some creative soul started this blip called "Operation Snowdesk". Early in the season, the Operation would kick in between television programs with a trumpeted announcement and these two guys at a desk with a map behind them would swoop into our living rooms with big news of jet stream and high pressure systems and low systems and they would taunt us with quips like, " 1-3 inches in just two states away, heading in our direction, probably maybe could."

Father Winter refused to blow much our way besides frost and fog that year, and as the season progressed, the weather updates changed into bullet-ed info that arrived on a stock ticker at the bottom of the screen just letting the viewers know important information like the temperature was cold enough to support solid precipitation for really real, and they offered uplifting short short stories fit for Ripleys, such as the amazing true life examples happening right here in the triangle..... some viewers have called in saying their fog turned into frost before their very eyes, and snow was bound to be born from that at any minute....they think.

As the season continued without any fun white playfluff, the Operation Snow desk interruptions became more and more desperate. I recall having a show interrupted by two bedraggled announcers who were begging for prayers for snow... One held a crystal in his hand and the other held up a spoon, showing viewers how to place it under our pillows. Sleeping with a spoon underneath our dreams encourages a larger snow accumulation, some scientists' research has shown.

I found Operation Snowdesk quite entertaining. I realized that the whole idea came from a place of optimism, something that January typically is shy of. I still sort of miss it.

This week, though, mother nature gave us a show worth waiting for. We were strung along for a while, and then bam! the sky opened up and flakes danced around and settled into everything they could find. And clocks stopped. Time held its breath. Moments waited.
In this busy world of nonstop movement, thought, action, it was a welcome gift to have to check all that for a day.

Just another reason I love living in North Carolina.

We've heard alot from Northerners about our over reactions to these kinds of weather events.
"Yeah, well, we're from Tim Buck Two and we have snow from October to May and I tell you, it gets higher than the roof and we still drive in it and go on like every other dang day."

When I hear comments like that I think two things. ... One- yeah, well when we have these kinds of weather events, they last a DAY, and. ..... Two.... isn't it interesting to hear these stories from people who are now, living HERE? :-)

I'll take crazy panic about extreme cold or snow any day. This, coming, of course from an ice-phobic old woman.

The media excitement breaks up the still winter months, and I think it makes the drab season more colorful.

Now, excuse me while I re-salt the front stoop, on the off chance the fog we expect tonight may change over to a thick coating of ice.......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our resident meteorologist may take umbrage with the weather toy images you presented. The snow certainly was gorgeous and we (N.C.) had the highest percentage of TV watchers for the presidential proceedings because of being inside all day! Loonygin