Monday, January 18, 2016

*** WOOF !!!

Today is Monday. Richmond's meteorologists great and small are already salivating over what they are calling an historic snowstorm bearing down on us...this weekend. Why, something called the European model is predicting 22 inches of the stuff. My favorite wolf crier is the dude on the internet who runs the aptly named website...Wxrisk.com. His latest forecast starts in all ALL CAPS thusly:

***ALERT!!!** WOOF  !! MAJOR SNOWSTORM---possibly HISTORIC SNOWSTORM JAN. 22-23

Upon further inquiry I discover that the term WOOF is one of six such designations used to breathlessly describe potential snowfall. It's all a part of an elaborate system whereby Wxrisk.com hypes winter weather. Six different alerts are used, color coded with lots of asterisks and exclamation points. Specifically, WOOF means: significant snowstorm likely which may reach major snowstorm criteria. In case you're wondering what constitutes a major snowstorm, wonder no longer: belly high to a tall dog.

It's exactly this sort of precise scientific language that attracts me to Wxrisk.com. If cool detachment, detailed model maps, and a "just the facts, ma'am" presentation is what you're looking for in your weather forecasts, well then, Andrew Freiden will do. But if you long for meteorological trash talking, hyped headlines and spittle-flying invective, look no further than Wxrisk.com.

Maybe this time they will all be right, maybe there will be historic amounts of the white stuff. If so, at least we got a five day head start on stocking up on bread, eggs and milk. But if, as I expect, we end up with a dusting because the El NiƱo track inexplicably veered south at the last minute, or the vortex of high level winds were not nearly strong enough to produce enough moisture to sustain the solar flex movement required...or some other ass-covering language that Wxrisk.com will employ to explain his busted forecast,...I won't be surprised.