If You’re Complaining that the Blizzard Wasn’t as Bad as Predicted…

If You’re Complaining that the Blizzard Wasn’t as Bad as Predicted… January 27, 2015

snow2015Let’s say you were in a car accident. Your vehicle sustained some minor damage, but you escaped unscathed. Would you complain, “Darn it, that wasn’t as bad as I expected!” – or would you say, “Thank God, it wasn’t that bad.”

Most of us would naturally say the latter – and that’s the approach we should take with the much-hyped “Blizzard of 2015” if we live in an area that wasn’t hit as hard as predicted.

If you’re in New York City or the five boroughs, you endured over a day’s of worth of apocalyptic-like warnings that this could very well be the worst snowstorm in New York City history with accumulations of two to three feet. Major roadways as well as public transportation were closed down as a result. People were understandably afraid.

But this morning, those of us who live in the metropolitan area found that the snow had only accumulated to close to a foot – and that wind and power outages were not a problem. Great news to most, but not to all.

Some sound disappointed that the storm didn’t live up to the hype. New York’s Daily News called it a “Snor’easter.” Meteorologists have apologized for getting it wrong. On the homefront in Queens, Deacon Greg’s doorman described the blizzard as “a bust.” And, of course, social media is full of snark (#Snowmageddon2015).

As for me, I’m just grateful. Yes, the incessant weather warnings can seem annoying in hindsight when they don’t pan out as predicted. Part of that is due to the fact that meteorology is a science, but not always an exact one. Weather patterns can change quickly and deviate from the path they were supposed to follow. Today we have an example of a forecast being off – but with Hurricane Sandy a few years ago, the predictions turned out as bad, and even worse, than expected.

There’s also the fact that news broadcasts are businesses that try to draw in as many eyes and ears as possible for ratings. That’s how they make money. Dire weather predictions – and fear in general – make good ratings. That’s not to say the reporters and weather people are being dishonest. They’re just reporting the facts as best they can and helping viewers make informed decisions. But there’s also some theater involved here, so viewers should keep that in mind.

On the other hand, having been outside briefly this morning, I can say that while the snow wasn’t as bad as predicted, it’s not a cakewalk either. There’s a coating of ice on the sidewalk and there’s enough snow accumulation to make shoveling a pain in the neck and lower back.

So in my opinion, I’m grateful that the weather forecasters were wrong and that we didn’t get hit as hard as Boston and Connecticut and Eastern Long Island. I’m grateful that the city and state took an abundance of caution that likely saved some accidents from happening on the roads – and that their actions made the clean up a little faster. I’m grateful that some people (including myself) are able to stay home today because our places of business are closed.

Now I just hope that the “dusting” we’re supposed to get on Friday doesn’t turn into a bigger deal than predicted.

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