Monday, January 19, 2009

Storm Watch.

Friends and fans of weather, we here at ANYLF are happy to bring you—at least to report to you—the season's first Winter Storm Watch. You'll note, savvies, that it's not a warning yet: Austin Caviness and the gang over at WXII (today's chosen fancies) can explain this better than I can, or at the very least more informedly and meteorologically, but it comes to this: the clouds out there now are not what we should be interested in. Rather, later this evening, we're going to get a new low hiccupped out of the mountains and headed for the coast, which should wrap some moisture back around the general vicinity of 27401 and thereabouts, giving, they think, Greensboro and points south and east a good shot at some snow. NOAA has us between 2 and 4, but that's just fancy governmental guesswork. This has all the trappings of a classic southern snow: They know it's going to snow, and they think they almost know where, but depending on sixteen very important and secret factors of weather forecasting, the snow could end up almost anywhere. Add in that tomorrow's a school day—after a long weekend, mind you—and what it all means is that there's very little chance we get what they're forecasting, which is let's say two inches. Rather, we'll get nothing, or a dusting, or six inches. This is a live-from-the-salt-truck kind of day on the local newses. Stand-ups from the line of school busses. Superintendents reminding everyone of the complex plan, which is no plan at all: try not to drive the school busses in the snow. Oh, and it gets better: we may not know for sure what's up until mid-morning tomorrow, which means the schoolies may either have to pull the trigger on shutting it down with very little snow on the ground, or run the risk of having seven zillion fourth graders stuck in the gym while their angry parents kick in the once-a-year four wheel drive on their Outbacks and bravely slog forth to retrieve them.

I'd say, for the most eager among you, the thing to do today would be to make a cup of tea and watch the early evening local news. That'll be good for a warmup. Then head outside once an hour or so, look up at those oranged nighttime city clouds, take a whiff of the air, decide for yourselves. Then maybe have a late-night nightcap and maybe, maybe, it'll be snowing, and you can think back on all those days when you had, oh, I don't know, an Australia poster due the next day, and you'd only really drawn in the outline, and had miles to go on things like exports and national anthems and climate averages and flora and fauna, and you would have given anything, anything, for a forecast like today's. It doesn't mean you don't still have to do the poster, of course. You do. You have to stay up late and try to finish. But hanging out there on the horizon, people, and this is all you can ever hope for, is the slightest, slightest chance of a reprieve.

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