STORM OF THE CENTURY! Katie Couric promised on NBC’s Today show. WHITEOUT! announced Page One of the Boston Herald Wednesday.
It’s December in the Northeast, the beginning of the season, as Ms. Couric indicated, of the annual storm of the century. This year’s version was supposed to be a double whammy. If we lived through Wednesday, Thursday’s weather was to snow us into submission. Woe unto the person who didn’t stock up on candles, groceries and kerosene. Bangor received about a foot of snow those two days and was expected to get a few more before the storm blew by. A real snow storm, perhaps, but hardly enough to mention to the relatives in Florida.
Television viewers wouldn’t have known that leading up to the big nonevent. Sweaters donned and coffee mugs at the ready, the region’s top TV forecasters had the state braced for the big one. They stood outside and counted the snowflakes as they began to fall. Their 24-hour vigils (ready to pounce if a storm acts up at 2 a.m.) were a tribute to their concern over the coming natural disaster.
There is something disconcerting about crying wolf over these perfectly typical snowstorms. Especially as thousands of Mainers are preparing to travel for the Christmas holiday or to pick up children at college, having overexcited forecasters predict the end of the world as we know it is harmful to the nerves. It makes one want to toss a snowball in their direction and tell them to lighten up.
Snowstorms are serious business to people who make their livings hauling goods on the highways. They’re plain fun for school kids waiting to see if they have the day off. What everyone needs is an accurate forecast delivered with as few theatrics as possible.