Posted by: AmyQuinn | August 26, 2011

I Refuse to Call This Post “C’mon, Irene”

For the first time in reliable recorded history, none of the first eight named storms of the season attained hurricane strength. This ninth, though? Looks to be a bit different.

Weather causes people a lot of anxiety. This week alone, I have several friends who are visibly nervous over vacation plans, airline travel, their property and their gardens. My friends who farm the land where I get 95% of my family’s food must be panicking— no telling what 65 mph at the height of harvest season might do to our winter food stores, after a record breaking rainy spring that flooded crops and required replanting of nearly everything.

What I seem to see more and more of lately, however, are the weather Doubting Thomases. They simply refuse to believe forecasts– they don’t believe it will snow 12 inches, they don’t believe that it will rain all weekend, and they don’t believe that Irene is a force to be feared. I suppose this is something of a product of our hyper-frenetic weather media—- seems these days that every weather event is a news maker, and most likely, a viewing/ratings builder. The weather media builds up the storms, and the public feeds into and off of the frenzy and we’re off to the races. Many a winter storm here in the Adirondacks have been predicted as fierce, only to leave our tourist town with 5 inches of wet snow and a whole lot of tourists who watch too much TV at home because they decided not to travel.  This affects the local economy– shop, restaurant and hotel owners who rely on every weekend of a ski season to meet monthly expenses.  As the Weather Channel has increased its scientific capabilities and its hype, the overprediction and panic has real results.  Sometimes, it’s not good to have so much information.

As for me, I’m pleased that I have no plans at all for Sunday into Monday, and that (other than my major food source possibly taking this storm on its ear) I can pretty much put away my outdoor furniture, and plan to spend Sunday cooking and reading– with some extra bottled water and batteries.  For now, it’s the calm before the storm.



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