Blower heralds blown forecast

February 01, 2000

At 5:30 Tuesday morning, I heard the third most grating noise known to man (coming in just behind leaf blowers and the laughter of small children), the morose drone of the snow blower.

For 10 minutes, I lay fuming underneath the covers, thinking "What kind of inconsiderate idiot gets up before dawn and tunes up his snow blower engine? Has he no courtesy, no thoughtfulness, no concern for common - uh oh."

Although no snow had been forecast the previous evening, it dawned on me that maybe this individual was putting the machine to actual, practical use.

Pinching back a slat in the miniblinds, I discovered the worst. There was three inches of "partly cloudy" on the ground and an angry whirlwind of "light dusting" coming down harder by the second.


I looked at my car. Covered. So I did the environmentally responsible thing, I went outside and started the engine and let it run for about an hour until the snow melted off. Hey, I figure the sooner we burn through the world's supply of irreplaceable fossil fuel, the sooner we will have to turn to a clean, environmentally friendly source of energy. It's a sacrifice, yes, but I like to do my part. Thank you. Thank you, very much.

Weather forecasters, for their part, were in denial. "I wouldn't characterize it as catching us off guard," Louis Uccellini, a Weather Service scientist, told The Washington Post. He went on to say that the medium-range forecast pointed to the possibility of a significant East Coast storm by Wednesday. "We were watching this thing like a hawk," he said.

Well, there's the problem. The storm system was being monitored by a life-form with a brain the size of a grape. (Too bad Dan Quayle isn't still around. He worked so well in this type of bird/intelligence comedic paradigm.)

There's a lot of anger out there right now for the weather forecasters. They blew it twice in three days. A big storm predicted for last Sunday fizzled and the "chance of flurries" predicted for Tuesday - well, you know.

I don't join the anger, however. I don't think it is the prognosticators' fault, I believe it is ours. At the risk of sounding like I'm weirding out on you, here's what I believe.

Storm systems, like any force of nature, are subject to the ebb and flow of energy from all sources, including human thought.

So when our collective psyche tenses up and we all panic and rush out to buy bread and milk, even if we already have bread and milk, this mass, electronic thought-wave energy field actually negates the ionic energy forces of the storm system. This explains why so many times when a big storm is predicted, it ends up petering out.

Conversely, when we have not been warned, and are not expecting it, and our negative energy fields do not interfere, natural forces are free to deliver a haymaker.

So what do you think? Like my theory? Hello? Operator!

Well, come on, who are you going to believe, me or the guy last Monday who predicted a "light dusting?"

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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