Weather Porn

February 3, 2011 at 2:46 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve been trying to write something about the much more important events of Egypt and Tunisia, but every time I finish, something more important comes along to add, and I have to start again. I suppose this is the point of a blog. It’s a journal; it’s a diary; it’s a work in progress. Maybe tomorrow.

But today, I got a break to catch up on other things. I live in Toronto, Canada. Not the coldest city in the world by any means (not even the coldest city in Canada for that matter), but winter is a fact. Something I was reminded of last week when my furnace died and I was left without heat on the two coldest days of the year so far. I sat huddled watching the mercury dip as two very valiant men installed a new furnace – I was completely useless save to make cups of tea and coffee.

Today we got our first major winter storm. Oh, we read about it coming. My in-laws who were returning from Florida yesterday came back a day early so as to avoid it (they need not have bothered; it hit after their original flight was due to attend).

I heard estimates of 20 to 30, then 40 CM of snow, White-outs, blizzards, and freezing rain. All were predicted. Cancellations abounded. Most of the colleges announced closures yesterday. Flights from the airport? Forget it. And wow, we knew this must be bad because even the school boards shut up shop (the last time, the school did that was 12 years ago).  

In the end though, it was bad, but not that bad. 15-20 centimetres fell, and while I was very happy not to have to go out (snow day for me too!), it seemed to fall a little short of the Snowzilla that was predicted.

If you watch the weather channel and assorted media, it seems as if everything must now be exaggerated to this ridiculous degree. Winer storms are now bigger, longer, harder; yes, I know I’m extending the analogy a bit, but when you a bit left down perhaps it’s not so inapt to make the comparison.   Weather porn indeed. Buyer beware!

UPDATE: John Doyle, in Thursday’s Globe and Mail wrote pretty much the same piece as above.  The Globe archives its articles after a fortnight, but it’s good for now.

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2 Comments

  1. Frankenstorm « Notes from Underground said,

    […] Yeah, I know: Frankenstorm. I’ll admit it, it’s a great name linking the various weather systems to Halloween. And of course, the horror, the horror. When I was watching the news yesterday, a commentator listed as “conservative” estimates of 50 to 100 MM of rain on Monday. So really, we’re in for another round of weather porn. […]

  2. Goodbye 2013 | Notes from Underground said,

    […] 2013 ended with the aftermath of an ice storm. Usually, I complain about weather porn. You know, the tendency of the media to whip up any event into something bigger and grander than it […]

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