Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Conspiracy?

They are calling for snow today. “They”, of course, are the weather forecasters on all the local channels, plus the people over at the Weather Channel. As is usually the case, this particular snow storm has been talked about since last week, such is the science of modern meteorology. Effective in 2013, the big shots in the weather world have decided to start naming snow storms like they name hurricanes. This particular storm must not be very menacing because as of this hour it is nameless.

Here in my corner of the cosmos, snow is greeted with a combination of childlike glee and unhinged panic. At the mere mention of snow in a forecast, hordes of west-enders descend on every grocery store west of the Boulevard, gobbling up every loaf of bread and gallon of milk on the shelves. I have long suspected that there was something nefarious about this spectacle. If the Ukrop’s brothers weren’t such fine upstanding Christian men, I might think that perhaps money was changing hands between the grocery titans and the weather forecasters in town.

Bobby Ukrop: Hey Jim. Uh, listen, we’ve had a pretty slow January over here, and we’re in a bit of a bind since we’re way overstocked on bread and milk. I was wondering if you could help us out.

Jim Duncan: Bobby, I’m surprised at you! You think you can just call here and ask me to cook up a phony snow forecast just so you can move some groceries?! I am a professional meteorologists for God’s sake, I have a reputation to think about, I have..

Bobby Ukrop: I’ll give you $25000 and a life long supply of White House rolls.

Jim Duncan: Done.


With the explosion of the internet in recent years, Richmond weather geeks have a new place to go for wild weather rumors. There’s this guy on Facebook with the initials DT. He runs some sort of weather consulting business for farmers and commodity traders. For 9 months of the year he labors in obscurity, but when winter arrives, he becomes a rock star. His Facebook page blows up. He’s famous for making outlandish forecasts of blizzards when the local TV guys are calling for a dusting. Like the proverbial broken clock who is at least right twice a day, DT has built his reputation on being famously right twice…three years ago. Ever since then people have considered him the go-to guy for snow. I hear him on the radio whenever snow is in the forecast, and more often than not he’s explaining why the local TV weather people are fools. It doesn’t seem to matter how often he’s fabulously wrong because he was the guy three years ago who nailed those two storms that nobody else saw coming. What a gig!

Well, I’m prepared for whatever comes our way today. There’s milk in the fridge, bread in the pantry, and as long as we don’t lose our internet connection, lots of great entertainment on DT’s Facebook page.