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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Snow Business

* For the baseball fans, two new Braves posts at Bugs & Cranks:

Do It for ‘Druw — A lighthearted look at how the Braves can keep Andruw Jones. (Hint: It involves bobbleheads.)

Talking Points — Is Oscar Villarreal’s new contract a model for future deals? Or just an excuse to daydream until spring training starts?

For you non-baseball buffs, today’s regular content begins… now.


You can tell it’s been a long year for the meteorologists. Boston has so far — knock on a toboggan — escaped the snowy ravages of winter this time around. Sure, other areas have been hit hard — Colorado over the holidays, upstate New York over the past week — but Boston has remained unscathed by the white stuff. The worst news the weather people around here have delivered regarded a cold spell with near-zero wind chills. Not sub-zero, mind you. Just near-zero.

And it’s absolutely killing them.

“If you listened to them, you’d think a Category 6 beast was on the way, with wind tunnel force and an eighty percent chance of locusts and brimstone.

You can see it in their eyes during the weather reports. This is Boston. It’s supposed to snow in Boston. An army of skiers and schoolchildren and ice sculpture specialists are watching them, noses pressed to their televisions, praying to hear that there’s a winter Nor’easter coming to dump three feet of snow in our laps.

But it hasn’t. Snowy precipitation has been both conspicuous and persistent in its absence. If not for the cold streak, you could say it’s downright temperate around here.

In a banner year for snow, too. That has to make things worse. I can just picture our local weather wonks sitting in a bar somewhere commiserating, when some yahoo meteorologist from Denver or Buffalo texts them with:

‘U GOT NO SN00!!! LOLZ!!!’

That’s like a knuckle right up the ‘El Nino‘, that is.

So it’s no surprise that the network climate crews are all over the snow expected later this week. They finally have something to report, and they’re hyping the hell out of this storm. Or hyping hail into it. If you listened to them, you’d think a Category 6 beast was on the way, with wind tunnel force and an eighty percent chance of locusts and brimstone. Stock up on fresh water! Board up your windows! Stash the old people in the basement — the Big One‘s a-comin’!

Meanwhile, this is what the local weather report actually says:

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low 14F.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny; snow after midnight.

Wednesday: Snow turning to rain in the afternoon.

Thursday: Maybe snow. Maybe not. A little windy.

Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 25F. What is this, June?

In total, Metro Boston is looking at something in the range of three-to-six inches of snow. Three-to-six inches would be big news in, say, Tampa. Or Tempe. Or Tuscaloosa.

In Boston, six inches of snow is what you leave on the sidewalks when you get tired of shoveling. Or when the snowblower conks out. Or when you have your first yardwork-induced coronary. In any event, it’s nothing. A pittance. Mere flurries.

At least it lets the meteorologists feel useful for a few days again. They can get the kids’ hopes up about a snow day, and tell viewers to ‘hit the slopes’ with a clear conscience. Maybe they’ll even call their meteorologist mates in other cities to gloat:

Remote Meteorologist: Hello?

Boston Weather Hound: Yo Scott, it’s Joe. In Boston. You know how you said we got no snow?

Remote Meteorologist: Yeah.

Boston Weather Hound: Well, suck it! Big blizzard on the way. Booyah!

Remote Meteorologist: A ‘blizzard’? I don’t remember seeing-

Boston Weather Hound: You heard me. Snow all up in our bidness now.

Remote Meteorologist: Look, there’s nothing on national radar about a ‘blizzard’. How much are you getting?

Boston Weather Hound: Uh… three to six inches?

Remote Meteorologist: Pffft. Weatherman, please. Six inches is nothing. Our producer’s snorted lines of coke taller than six inches.

Boston Weather Hound: But the wind-

Remote Meteorologist: I mean, six inches? Six? We get six inches of snow in August around here.

Boston Weather Hound: I’m just saying-

Remote Meteorologist: Dude, I’ve seen a kid eat two ice cream bars and shit six inches of snow. You suck. Just admit it.

Boston Weather Hound: I hate you. You know that, right?

Remote Meteorologist: Yeah, I know. Ah well, guess I’ll go cry… in my enormous eight-foot snowbanks! Ha ha! You got no snow!

Hopefully, it won’t come to that. Meteorologists can be so cruel.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if snow just passed us by this year. I don’t ski, and I’m all grown up now — even if we do get enough snow to get out of work, I have to spend my whole off day shoveling the steps. I’d almost rather be stuck in a midmorning staff meeting.

(Almost. But not quite. Those things are like watching milk spoil. And slightly more distasteful.)

At any rate, it seems we’ll survive this weeks’ ‘blizzard’. And I’m sure we’ll hear every imaginable climatological detail before and after, from cold front mechanics to the quantum physics of isobar migration. All the while knowing it’s for a snowfall they might normally call a ‘dusting’. It almost makes you feel sorry for the meteorologists.

Like I said — almost. Just wait until next year. I bet they give us two feet of snow a week and sleet on Sundays. It just goes to show — you can’t keep a winter weather wag down for long.

Permalink  |  2 Comments



2 Responses to “Snow Business”

  1. steph says:

    oh yeah, and HOW did you end up with the BRAVES?

  2. kerry says:

    who knew i’d have to go to boston to get away from the snow?

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