Look, I hate overwrought media hoopla as much as the next person. But that being said, I’m a total sucker for the lead-up to a big storm. For those who don’t live in the Kansas City area, we are evidently about the get buried in a good 8 inches of the white stuff, and very likely more. Snow storms are great, because big ones start getting quiet murmurs as far out as a week. I’m lucky enough to have one of those jobs that actually gets snow days when things get bad enough, so a day where more than six inches falls means I won’t have to brave the elements. That’s not as relaxing as it used to be now that I have kids and a driveway to shovel, but I’ll take it anyway. Besides, if the kids become too much of a headache I can arm them with shovels and bundle them up. Just like that, both problems are solved.
But it’s not just the anticipation of a day off that I enjoy. There’s something about the breathless coverage it gets from local news that makes me just a little giddy. I first heard about the most recent version of Snowmageddon about a week ago, and I’ve been following our local weather a couple times a day since then. Now that we’re less that 12 hours from zero hour, I feel like I’m camping out on local news websites just to get updated totals. And it’s not just because I’m getting a day off. I like doing stuff like this for huge monstrous thunderstorms too! Something about watching radar patterns cycle on a screen feels very strongly connected with my childhood in Michigan, a state where you’re as likely to get a huge winter storm as you are a tornado.
My favored local weatherman is Gary Lezak, who felt so strongly about his Lezak Recurring Cycle that he named it after himself. He works for local NBC affiliate KSHB, and he kinda-sorta runs a blog on that station’s website. But he also runs a second blog called Weather 2020, which I only just discovered. I think it’s a little more of a personal blog for him, because he definitely gives it more attention.
I’ve kind of fallen in love with Weather 2020, not so much because it’s coverage is any more accurate (as far as I can tell), but because of the comments. While you should normally never read comments, I heartily recommend you read those ones. They aren’t funny, at least in the conventional way. Instead, they are hyper-technical with an odd sense of excitement about severe weather. It’s hard to convey precisely what I find so hilarious about the comments, but I think it’s just the fervent devotion everyone there has to following National Weather Service maps and tracking snowfall totals.
It shouldn’t amuse me so much that people would get so into something that I never even knew you could get into. After all, I spend an unreasonable amount of my time writing about board games that almost no one has heard of. I think my delight is partially in discovering that it’s not really so strange to be so fascinated by these kinds of things. If there’s anything the internet has taught me, it’s that no interest is too strange or obscure that you can’t find someone else who shares it.