Friday, December 19, 2008

That Liar the Weatherman...

The head track/XC coach where I am an assistant always uses the phrase, "That liar the weatherman says it's going to be (hot/cold/rainy/snow/...fill in the blank), but make sure you pack appropriately so you're prepared for anything."

Well, that liar the weatherman (aka the National Weather Service branch based in Pittsburgh, PA) hasn't had too good of a track record so far this winter season. Up to this point, there have been FOUR Winter Weather Advisories issues. Total amount of snow: maybe 1 or 2 inches.....TOTAL from all the storms. In other words, 0 for 4 on predicting major winter weather for the Pittsburgh area.

Now I know that it's better to be safe than sorry, but come on! 0 for 4? Take this morning, for instance. Yesterday I get on the weather channel's website to see what the temperature was for track practice and I see this WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY predicting sleet, freezing rain, and a few inches of snow between the hours of 1AM and 11AM Friday morning.

I'm excited thinking that this is the perfect time for a delay to be called. So, I get up at 4:45am (skeptical that there will be bad weather) to walk Roxy before swimming and THE GROUND IS NOT EVEN WET YET! By the time I left for swimming/school at 5:15am, it had started raining, but was 35 or so degrees and getting warmer, so no chance of snow. Now, granted, it did rain cats and dogs here today until after lunch and I know places where it was colder like north of I-80 (among other parts of the country like Jen H in Chicago and Maija in NJ/NY) got hit pretty good with this storm. But, come on! This Pittsburgh National Weather Service needs to work on fine-tuning their weather models.

I think part of the frustration comes from the fact that I consider myself an amateur weatherman. Back in high school, I could watch the weather channel for 30-60 minutes at a time. I loved geography and also was interested in the weather. Now, I serve as Beth's weatherman, letting her know when is the best time to run or ride a bike when rain storms come our way.

I even had a chance to live out my dream of being a weatherman when I was at Elizabethtown College (I did a 3-2 dual undergraduate engineering program between Etown and PSU--long story). At Etown, they had a student-run television station ECTV40 and produced a daily 5pm newscast. This newscast was mostly national news stories with footage in from CNN, but there was also a sports segment and a weather segment.

My freshman year I lived on a floor with mostly older communications majors who were involved in the ECTV news production one way or another (producer, director, camera-person, anchor, teleprompter operator) and they had a Monday weatherman opening. I told them about my high school "weather background" and got the gig.

It was pretty fun, I got to even stand with my sportscoat and tie in front of the green wall and look off at a monitor and point to places on the national weather map. I have a VCR tape of it still--I'll have to look into if I can somehow transfer it digitally and then post it on youtube or something like that. (As a side note, I also had the opportunity to be a football, basketball, and baseball TV and radio broadcaster on ECTV and WWEC 88.3 FM....not bad for an engineering major....advantage of going to a small school first before Penn State).

Other than that, not much going on here.....especially weather-wise!!!!!. Here's the quick training summary:

Wed - Boxes workout with the sprinters
Thu - 6 mi distance
Fri - AM swim (2 sets of 200-100-100-50-50) and PM 7+ mi run in BEAUTIFUL 50 degree weather--I wore shorts!


Beth said...

What about the time you forgot to plug your mike in Mr. Weatherman? hehehehe

Anyway, you are a good weather forecaster. I can't ever remember a time when you told me the wrong thing and I was really far away on my bike when it started to pour or ice or snow or...whatever...

Maijaleena said...

If you get all that snow, then Beth can't bike outside in crazy cold weather.

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