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For the Latest Weather Tune in ESPN

by

Gregory J. Rummo

Last week the brain surgeons at the National Weather Service told us to be prepared for ďone inch of snow by daybreak and possibly two to three inches by the time itís all over.Ē

Hereís what really happened: by 10:00 A.M. that Friday morning there was eight inches of fine white powder in our driveway and the roads were as treacherous as a hockey rink freshly re-surfaced by a Zamboni.

Itís three days later on the following Monday. I am sitting home, having let my staff go early because of todayís impending snow storm, characterized by the National Weather Service as ďsimilar to last Fridayís storm.Ē My sonís school also sent everybody home around lunch time so I am not the only person in authority guilty of a knee-jerk reaction.

Hereís whatís really happening: as I look out the glass doors into the woods, I see itís barely snowing, the thermometer tells me itís 33 degrees, and the street out in front of the house is just wet.

I donít mean to bellyache. I am delighted that I didnít wreck my big comfy 8 cylinder German SUV last Friday on the slippery roads that I guess werenít plowed and salted properly because the N.J.D.O.T. also listened to the National Weather Serviceís forecast. And the only thing that beats a day off from work is a half day off from work which I am savoring immensely at the moment.

But you have to wonder: are the meteorologists that bad when it comes to forecasting a snowstorm or is it us? Do we sub-consciously forget all the times they are right and zero in on the times they are wrong?

I am reminded of the story about an irate woman who called the local radio station to complain about having to shovel six inches of partly cloudy off her front steps.

Now come on. If itís us, how do you suppose a lame joke like that got started?

Meteorology is the only profession where one is paid good money to guess whatís going to happen in the future. Predicting the weather is, after all, called forecasting.

The only other people who make anything close to a living doing that are the whack jobs with names like Zelda who gaze into crystal balls and attempt to tell you about your love life, who you will marry, where you will live and, oh, excuse me but thatíll be $29.95 please.

Maybe I am being a little harsh.

We do reward mediocrity in the sports world. Last week it was a big deal when the Los Angeles Lakers started playing .500 basketball.

Puleezeóthatís one win in every two games. Imagine if meteorologists were right only 50 percent of the time. Doctors wouldnít be the only professionals screaming about lawsuits.

It only gets worse when you think in terms of baseball.

The Boston Red Soxís Manny Ramirez led the American League with a .349 batting average last year. In the National League, the Giantís Barry Bonds wasnít much better with a .390. Neither of these guys could be counted on to get a hit 6 times out of 10 at bats.

Thatís pathetic. If they were meteorologists, theyíd be tarred and feathered during prime time on the Weather Channel.

Looking up from my keyboard I see that the snow has started to pick up a little. The driveway is slowly becoming covered as is the street out in front of the house. I am supposed to leave in two hours to coach indoor soccer for a group of boys at my church.

What am I supposed to do?

Iíd turn on the Weather Channel but I can probably get just as good a forecast on ESPN.



Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at www.GregRummo.com

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