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Gregory J. Rummo
Last week the
brain surgeons at the National Weather Service told
us to be prepared for ďone inch of snow by daybreak
and possibly two to three inches by the time itís
Hereís what really happened: by 10:00 A.M. that
Friday morning there was eight inches of fine white
powder in our driveway and the roads were as
treacherous as a hockey rink freshly re-surfaced by
Itís three days later on the following Monday. I am
sitting home, having let my staff go early because
of todayís impending snow storm, characterized by
the National Weather Service as ďsimilar to last
Fridayís storm.Ē My sonís school also sent
everybody home around lunch time so I am not the
only person in authority guilty of a knee-jerk
Hereís whatís really happening: as I look out the
glass doors into the woods, I see itís barely
snowing, the thermometer tells me itís 33 degrees,
and the street out in front of the house is just
I donít mean to bellyache. I am delighted that I
didnít wreck my big comfy 8 cylinder German SUV
last Friday on the slippery roads that I guess
werenít plowed and salted properly because the
N.J.D.O.T. also listened to the National Weather
Serviceís forecast. And the only thing that beats a
day off from work is a half day off from work which
I am savoring immensely at the moment.
But you have to wonder: are the meteorologists that
bad when it comes to forecasting a snowstorm or is
it us? Do we sub-consciously forget all the times
they are right and zero in on the times they are
I am reminded of the story about an irate woman who
called the local radio station to complain about
having to shovel six inches of partly cloudy off
her front steps.
Now come on. If itís us, how do you suppose a lame
joke like that got started?
Meteorology is the only profession where one is
paid good money to guess whatís going to happen in
the future. Predicting the weather is, after all,
The only other people who make anything close to a
living doing that are the whack jobs with names
like Zelda who gaze into crystal balls and attempt
to tell you about your love life, who you will
marry, where you will live and, oh, excuse me but
thatíll be $29.95 please.
Maybe I am being a little harsh.
We do reward mediocrity in the sports world. Last
week it was a big deal when the Los Angeles Lakers
started playing .500 basketball.
Puleezeóthatís one win in every two games. Imagine
if meteorologists were right only 50 percent of the
time. Doctors wouldnít be the only professionals
screaming about lawsuits.
It only gets worse when you think in terms of
The Boston Red Soxís Manny Ramirez led the American
League with a .349 batting average last year. In
the National League, the Giantís Barry Bonds wasnít
much better with a .390. Neither of these guys
could be counted on to get a hit 6 times out of 10
Thatís pathetic. If they were meteorologists,
theyíd be tarred and feathered during prime time on
the Weather Channel.
Looking up from my keyboard I see that the snow has
started to pick up a little. The driveway is slowly
becoming covered as is the street out in front of
the house. I am supposed to leave in two hours to
coach indoor soccer for a group of boys at my
What am I supposed to do?
Iíd turn on the Weather Channel but I can probably
get just as good a forecast on ESPN.
Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist.
Contact him at
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