The Power of a Four Letter Word


I am talking, of course, about SNOW.  Isn’t that what you were thinking?

The power of that short little word  is amazing.

Yesterday, the meteorologists on several stations (radio and TV)  said that we could get 3-6 inches of snow on Friday and that there was a “great potential” for more than that to hit the Northeast.  That was all the talk. In the stores, on the news, at dinner.  On the news, they interviewed people who were planning on stocking up at the grocery store with the staples – bread, milk, eggs – in case we got hit hard.  Some stations were already  in Home Depots checking to see if  shovels, snowblowers and rock salt were still available. In short – the prediction (which really isn’t that much snow for us) caused a flurry of activity with one simple word.

I am not immune to this.  I have run out to the store a few days ahead of time when there is a big snowfall prediction just to be safe.  And last night, I gave the warning that our weekend plans to go to Pennsylvania could be thwarted if we get more than 6 inches.   I told our friends and the kids that if we get a lot of snow, we might not be able to go. We would have to “play it by ear.”

And actually, isn’t that what really happens in the weather room?  While computer models can predict the paths of storms, they really don’t know for certain.  They, too, must “play it by ear” (or by data).  Weather is not an exact science.  Yet, they give us a forecast with the worse-case scenarios days in advance sometimes. To prepare us? Or to keep us watching?  Ratings, you know, are very important.

With snow fresh on my mind when I got up this morning, I checked the weather (see the power that word has over me?) and heard two new reports. One said we now might get 1-3 inches and another said there is only a 30% chance of snow showers. Showers?  That’s a far cry from 3-6 or more inches. I guess that’s a good thing.  We should be able to go to PA.  But now, I want to know what will really happen. It’s kind of like a mystery…What path will the storm take? How much will we really get?  Will the roads be okay to drive on?  Time (and Mother Nature) will tell. I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry.  And I guess, maybe someday, the power of that four-letter word will finally loosen its grip on me and so many others.  Til then, I will watch and wait and wonder.

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