All the talk recently about “fake news” brought me to the realization over the last few days that, while “fake news” is of a concern, the potentially more pressing issue might well be “fake weather.” This came to mind following the Dec. 8 snow storm that absolutely, positively was not going to happen, according to at least two local weather forecasting personalities.

On, if I recall correctly, Wednesday evening prior to the surprise snowfall, we were told that the forecast was calling for one to two inches of snow early Friday. It was pointed out, however, that this forecast simply did not mean that there would be one to two inches of snow on the ground. Rather, we were told that, if one were to go outside with a container in hand and collect the falling snow, keep it frozen, by some stroke of luck, and then stick a ruler into the container of snow, one would discover that there would be one to two inches of snow collected. But by no means were we to expect to see any appreciable accumulation of snow on the ground.

Early Friday morning, yet another local weather personality pointed out that the ground was just too warm to support any accumulation of the snow that was falling as he spoke. I feel that the multitude of snowmen seen around the Pine Belt over the next couple of days would seem to indicate that we, the citizens of the Free State and surrounding counties, have just witnessed the effects of the aforementioned “fake weather.”

Of course, I realize that this incident could actually be simply a matter of a general inability to accurately predict precisely what the weather is going to be like more than a few minutes into the future. I have developed a theory (which, unfortunately I have not developed a means for proving one way or another) that, if I could make a living being no better at what I do than most of the weather forecasting professionals with whom I am familiar, it would seem that I should be able to get rich based on my relatively impressive record of successful endeavors in job-related activities in recent years. Unfortunately, that has not happened either, but I remain hopeful.

Over the last few days, following the Great Snow Surprise of 2017, it has occurred to me numerous times that we should all consider ourselves fortunate that the Emergency Response Personnel who went to work rescuing wrecked motorists, clearing blocked roadways and getting electric power restored were better at their jobs than some of our local weather forecasters. A heartfelt “Thank You” to all those dedicated professionals and volunteers.

Fred Pittman


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